FIA scraps telemetry, radio and spare cars

The FIA has finally put its foot down after months of dithering by team principals over what to do about cutting costs in Formula One. At a meeting at Heathrow airport on January 15th, the FIA stated to bosses that despite two teams going into ...

The FIA has finally put its foot down after months of dithering by team principals over what to do about cutting costs in Formula One. At a meeting at Heathrow airport on January 15th, the FIA stated to bosses that despite two teams going into liquidation in the last twelve months nothing had been done to prevent any more going the same way.

Out of patience with team meetings that have solved nothing, the sport's governing body laid down the rules for 2003. There will be no more two-way telemetry, no more radio communication between driver and pits and only two cars per team (ie. no spare car). Traction control, launch control, and automatic gearboxes will be phased out and banned completely by 2004.

In addition to these rules, cars will be sequestered in Parc Ferme from the end of the qualifying session until the race so the teams cannot work on them save for under strict supervision.

Teams will be permitted to use common components and for 2004 the FIA plans to follow on with these regulations by introducing a standard braking system, standard rear wing, long-life components and force manufacturers involved in F1 to supply engines to more than one team.

Come 2005 engine life will be extended from one race to two, major components must have extended life and new penalties will be bought in for changes to engines outside permitted times. In 2006 engines life will be six races and the FIA will be looking to eliminate expensive and 'exotic' materials used in construction of engine or chassis.

While many have been calling for changes such as the FIA has laid out today, no doubt now that they have been passed there will be some who are not happy. Driver aids and telemetry have long been a point of contention that most would be glad to see the back of, but the long term changes could bring a few frowns. However, as the FIA pointed out, the teams have discussed and discussed and were no closer to making any headway -- it was high time decisions were made.

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Series Formula 1