FEBRUARY 5, 1996

Black boxes for F1

FIA President Max Mosley has revealed that work is pushing ahead on the development of a "black box" recorder, which will be similar to the flight recorders used in the aircraft industry. There are likely to be experiments with the new system this summer before they are introduced on every car for 1997.

The units - being developed in the United States - will be used to help the FIA to gather data in the event of an accident, but will not be used as a "spy-in-the-cockpit" to adjudicate in sporting conflicts - although that potential will certainly exist. The costs of developing the system - believed to be around $1m - is being split between the F1 teams.

The governing body of the sport is also beginning a campaign so that there is a code of action, approved by the European Commission, which will standardize all investigations into F1 accidents.

"The aircraft industry has said it wants to see things handled in a certain way and to have their code accepted by Brussels and we want to do something similar," said Mosley.

This will avoid the current problems with the Italian authorities over the investigation into the accident which caused the death of Ayrton Senna at Imola in May 1994.