FIA & TWG compromise on new rules

After two meetings with the Technical Working Group (TWG), the FIA has come to a compromise with teams on the new regulations laid out by the sport's governing body on the 15th January. After decisions were failed to be reached at the first...

After two meetings with the Technical Working Group (TWG), the FIA has come to a compromise with teams on the new regulations laid out by the sport's governing body on the 15th January. After decisions were failed to be reached at the first meeting, independant electronics experts, as well as team specialists, were present at the second meeting yesterday.

The FIA and the TWG agreed on the rule changes in a somewhat modified way: pit to car telemetry will be banned immediately but car to pit will be permitted until 2004. Originally radio communication was to be disallowed but now it will be permitted with certain provisos.

A spare car can be used in the case of a race car being damaged beyond repair and while cars will be sequestered between qualifying and race, it will be in team garages rather than on Parc Ferme. Traction control and automatic gearboes will be banned from the British Grand Prix, as will launch control provided manual clutches are operative. Following is the FIA's published list of agreed upon changes:


• pit to car telemetry - eliminated with immediate effect;
• car to pit telemetry - eliminated from 2004 and a standard data logger introduced at the same time (immediate implementation would not save money because the limiting factor is the data acquisition system. This cannot be eliminated from a car in the short term);
• radio communication between team and driver to be allowed provided (i) the system is stand-alone and cannot transmit other data and (ii) the communications are open and accessible to the FIA and broadcasters. The possibility of a standard system accessible to the public at a Grand Prix is being explored;
• a third car will only be used if a race car is damaged beyond repair. If a race car fails just before the start, any spare car will start from the pit lane, as will a spare car used following a race stoppage in the first two laps;
• cars will be held under parc fermé conditions between qualifying and the race, but can be kept in a team's garage under supervision. Any work other than a very restricted list will require special authorisation;
• traction control and automatic gearboxes will no longer be allowed from half way through the season - ie from the 2003 British Grand Prix;
• launch control will end at the same time provided the teams can all operate their current clutches manually;
• following today's meeting the FIA is satisfied that the absence of traction control, launch control and fully automatic gearboxes can be proved using a combination of new technology and extra (FIA) sensors. Software inspection remains available to the FIA as a back-up if needed. It will therefore not be necessary to introduce a standard ECU in 2004.

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Series Formula 1