The FIA's recent decision to allow drivers only one engine per race weekend as of 2004 has met with mixed reactions. Currently teams are allowed to use as many engines as they need, the top teams can use as many as 100 a year: the new ruling...
The FIA's recent decision to allow drivers only one engine per race weekend as of 2004 has met with mixed reactions. Currently teams are allowed to use as many engines as they need, the top teams can use as many as 100 a year: the new ruling states that every time a driver changes engine during the weekend he will be moved back 10 places on the grid -- using the spare car will also count as an engine change. While some think the decision is good for keeping costs down in the sport, others are not so sure.
Jordan boss Eddie Jordan approves: "This is a good start," he said. "Anything which makes the 'show' more exciting, whilst containing costs, can only be seen as an advantage for Formula One. Cost-saving by limiting the number of engines is an excellent starting point." Jordan also agreed with the new rule that allows stewards to penalize drivers in an incident by dropping him 10 places on the grid for the next event. "The driver penalties mean stewards can punish a driver effectively but keep him in the race," he added. "All these measures will make Grands Prix better for fans."
Williams' technical director Patrick Head is not as enthusiastic as Jordan, expressing his doubts over the one engine decision. Head has always been against engine changes but thinks the new rule will not affect the top teams. "I don't think this is a good idea," he commented. "That said, I feel pretty neutral about it because ultimately I don't think the status quo will be changed. The good teams will still be ahead."
Jaguar's Eddie Irvine thinks that the new engine ruling is manufacturing racing by forcing drivers to battle through the field: "Formula One is a sport, it's not Hollywood," the Irishman said. "We have got to make the spectacle as good as possible, but we cannot manufacture the spectacle."