JUNE 14, 1999
F1 bosses to meet this week
THE Formula 1 team owners are due to meet this week to discuss the future shape of Formula 1 cars, following criticism in recent weeks that overtaking has become too difficult and the show is suffering as a result. F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone last week called for a return to slick tires to enable the drivers to get more grip and so be able to attempt overtaking manoeuvres more often. Other team bosses reckon that the tires are not the major problem and that aerodynamic downforce needs to be slashed so that cars can run close to one another.
But several team bosses are opposed to getting rid of wings and reducing the aerodynamic downforce because that would serious reduce the amount of space available for sponsorship.
FIA President Max Mosley says he has no intention of changing the tire regulations but admits that overtaking is "probably a bit too difficult" at the moment.
Mosley says that his hands are tied because the team bosses need to get together to sort out what they want from the cars. The F1 engineers then have to come up with a way of achieving that result and their proposals must be presented to the F1 Commission. If they are agreed by that body they can then be confirmed by the World Motor Sport Council when it meets in Paris on June 23.
According to the FIA that meeting is the last opportunity this year to make changes to the F1 rules in time for the 2000 season. There have been suggestions however that the FIA will accept rule changes after this date if the F1 team bosses all agree to the changes.
The team owners are under pressure not only from the FIA but also from their own engineering staff because work is already beginning on the development of the cars for the 2000 season and designers want to know the aerodynamic restrictions they will be facing so as to begin development programs.