The FIA, Formula One's governing body, yesterday announced a host of changes that will effect the sport from 2003, to say they are radical is by no means an understatement.

The shock new rules will see driver aids, spare cars, telemetry and radio communication banned immediately, there will also be a sustained effort until 2006 to bring in measures that will cut costs and prevent the loss of any more teams, including, standard braking systems and rear wings, plus long life engines.

As such, 2003 will effectively be year one for F1 as the series makes a fresh start to secure its future.

For those wondering how the FIA could have made such sweeping measures without agreement from the teams for rule changes, the answer lies in the 'zero tolerage' ruling mentioned in the statement below.

Therefore, by taking a zero tolerance view [for the first time] of Article 61 - The driver must drive the car alone and unaided. the FIA has placed severe constraints upon electronic (as opposed to driver) control of throttles, clutches, differentials and engine actuators.

This will mean that traction control, launch control and fully automatic gear changing systems can no longer be used.

A similar methodology has been used for the other changes planned for 2003. See the "New F1 rules - complete statement from FIA." story for full details.

The full statement release by the FIA was as follows:

"Despite the disappearance of two Formula One teams in the past twelve months, nothing has been done to save money.

Last October, the Formula One teams rejected all the FIA's cost-saving proposals. The teams themselves have had several meetings, but produced nothing.

The FIA therefore invited the teams to a meeting at Heathrow Airport today and informed them that in order to reduce costs and improve the racing it will rigorously apply existing rules from the start of the coming season, in order to immediately [for 2003]:

- Eliminate pit to car telemetry;
- Eliminate car to pit telemetry;
- Eliminate all radio communication between team and driver;
- Allow only two cars per team (i.e. no spare car);
- Place cars in parc ferm? between final qualifying and the race (teams will be unable to work on them, except under strict supervision);
- Eliminate traction control, launch control and fully automatic gearboxes (possible derogation for all or part of 2003 to be followed by absolute enforcement in 2004, if necessary by means of standard electronic control units); and that the FIA will also:
- Allow teams to use common components;

For 2004 it intends to introduce sporting rules which will:

- Require the use of a standard braking system;
- Require the use of a standard rear wing;
- Require the use of long-life components;
- Ensure that car manufacturers involved in Formula One supply engines to all competing teams;

For 2005 it intends to bring in further sporting rules to require:

- Engine life to be extended from one to two races;
- A further extension to the life of major components;
- New penalties for engine or component changes outside permitted times;

For 2006 it intends to bring in a further sporting rule to require:

- Engine life to be extended to six races;

The FIA will also seek the agreement of the teams to introduce a new technical regulation to:

- Eliminate the use of expensive exotic materials in any part of the car, including the engine.

The FIA note detailing and explaining the above was handed to the teams today [Wednesday]."

 

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