Stoddart challenging driver aids rule

Prior to Minardi's 1-2 finish in Friday's French Grand Prix qualifying session, team boss Paul Stoddart had written to the FIA stating that Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson would race at the British Grand Prix with no driver aids. This means no...

Prior to Minardi's 1-2 finish in Friday's French Grand Prix qualifying session, team boss Paul Stoddart had written to the FIA stating that Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson would race at the British Grand Prix with no driver aids.

This means no traction or launch control, or semi-automatic gearboxes -- as originally planned by the FIA when the new rules were announced at the beginning of this year. Since then the FIA retracted the rule but Stoddart more recently withdrew his support of the regulation changes and insists he stands by the original no driver aids rule, which was due to come into force at Silverstone.

In theory, as all the teams have to agree to the changes before they can be implemented, if Stoddart goes ahead he could then protest about other teams using driver aids and move to have them disqualified.

"What they (Minardi) seem to be saying in the letter is that they may then protest other teams," said FIA president Max Mosley, according to Reuters. "We have a rule that has been there for many years saying that all driver aids are prohibited. If there were a protest it would be a matter for the stewards."

Stoddart is still unhappy about previous agreements over regulations that failed to be kept and since withdrew his support. He believes that the ban on driver aids is valid.

"Although we've discussed a lot this year about ways of retaining at least traction control, nothing has actually been fulfilled and agreed," he said. "I believe the rules, as they are written today, would mean that from Silverstone we have to comply with them. And the rules are that the driver must drive the car unaided."

However, Stoddart said he would be willing to listen to other teams' interpretation of the rule and come to some kind of agreement: "I would far rather this was all sorted out, that we change the regulations to reflect what we are actually doing and not leave an almighty loophole for all kinds of things to be done."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Justin Wilson , Paul Stoddart
Teams Minardi