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Overtaking group's future dependent on 2009 success

The organisation set up with the sole aim of generating greater overtaking in Formula 1 faces being disbanded should it fail to produce the desired effect in 2009, FIA President Max Mosley has warned.

The Overtaking Working Group (OWG) – led by some of the top flight's leading technical gurus in the form of Paddy Lowe (McLaren), Pat Symonds (Renault) and Rory Byrne (Ferrari) – was tasked by the governing body with coming up with measures that will increase the number of passing manoeuvres during grands prix in order to maintain fans' interest, after Mosley's own suggestion of a 'split rear wing' was voted down by the teams that compose the sport's technical working group.

The OWG's work was the basis for the dramatic upheaval in bodywork regulations for the season ahead – and the much-criticised new look of the 2009 cars was the result.

However, FIA technical consultant Tony Purnell has revealed that he is not convinced the changes have achieved the demanded downforce reduction of 50 per cent – a situation that would clearly not sit easily with Mosley.

“If the desired effect does not occur,” the 68-year-old told German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, “then that will be the end of the expert group.”


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Steve Huckaby

February 12, 2009 6:44 PM

These are very brusque statements and certainly make a good headline, but the concept is a bit idiotic to me. So lets say the OWG's changes don't work this year and they are disbanded. Then what? You'd be left with a rules package no better than the last one and therefore the same need to "fix" it. How will that be done. Will a visionary step forward with a plan that everyone loves? Never! For the FIA to simply mandate changes would take the rough equivalent of an OWG internal to FIA and would just piss off the teams. FIA mandates never go over well anyway. So then you involve the teams in order to ensure their buy in and guess what you end up with - an OWG like already exists today.

Robsy - Unregistered

February 13, 2009 9:33 AM

Tony Purnell is part of the problem. It was when Max brought him in to a cushty number at the FIA after he made a complete pigs ear of running Jaguar F1. Lets not forget he was behind Max decision to start mucking about with quali, and is probably the source of the permanent rules flux since 2004. 50% downforce reduction is arbitrary - as long as racing is improved this year, we'll be happy, but TP might just be looking for a reason to kick the OWA into touch anyways.



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