DECEMBER 7, 2007
The World Council says
The FIA World Motor Sport Council made the following decisions in Monaco:
McLaren will continue to be scrutinised until the next World Council meeting on February 14 at which Ferrari, McLaren and others will be allowed to make representations to the World Council. This means that the threat of action against McLaren remains in place.
The FIA has said that engines must be dleivered to it no later than March 31 2008 for use in events between now and 2017. The World Council voted through technical restrictions that mean that teams may use no more than one windtunnel; they cannot use pressured or windtuunel that use different fluids (ie they cannot switch to water tunnels), they cannot run faster than 50m/sec and no models can be greater than 60% and no more than one car is allowed in the tunnel at the same time. The maximum usage must be equivalent to 15 runs per 8 hour day on 5 days per week for team F1 purposes. Tunnel may be contracted out at other times. Aerodynamic testing may only take place in wind tunnels if at reduced scale or at FIA approved test tracks if full scale. Full size testing to be subject to the F1 testing agreement. Fulls-cale testing can be only five days per year. Restrictions will be imposed to stop shift of resource from wind tunnel testing to CFD. The FIA says it will limit the number of people allowed to work on CFD projects and there will be performance limits on hardware/software development. There will be other restrictions on rig testing, design and manufacturing, suspension and brakes, hydraulic systems, bodywork, weight distribution, circuit testing and the number of team members allowed at races. Further details of all of this will be given on January 11 and there will be detailed regulations at the spring meeting of the WMSC.
The Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), to be introduced in 2009, will continue to be an entirely open technology. As such, the use of any type of KERS storage/transmission technology will be permitted.
The WMSC has also authorised the FIA to issue libel proceedings against English newspaper The Sunday Times, which ran an article claiming that the FIA was engaged in a witch-hunt against the McLaren-Mercedes team.
This is all well and good and the FIA can make rules as it pleases. There are going to be many arguments about the restrictions in the weeks ahead but the FIA has clearly set its course and teams will have to decide it they wish to compete. The FIA is working on the idea that the teams will end up accepting the restrictions because that is all they can do.
Whether the cars that result from all this will be seen as the technological miracles that F1 is supposed to be remains to be seen.