Mosley gives update on 2008 proposals

Monaco: FIA President Max Mosley's statement to the press in regard to the current situation with the proposed regulation changes for 2008 Max Mosley: "I thought it might be useful if I just spent a few minutes just coming up to date with where...

Monaco: FIA President Max Mosley's statement to the press in regard to the current situation with the proposed regulation changes for 2008

Max Mosley: "I thought it might be useful if I just spent a few minutes just coming up to date with where we are on the proposals we sent to the teams before Imola. It might be helpful if I explained the timescale, because that is the most confusing part of this whole discussion."

"Quite clearly, 2008, at the end of the Concorde Agreement, we can make any changes to the regulations of the Formula One World Championship if we wish, provided that we continue to run the championship substantially in the way that it has been run in the past because that is part of the agreement we have with FOM (Formula One Management)."

"However, it is our hope that the substantial changes that have been put forward will come in long before 2008, but, I thought it might be interesting if I outlined what is needed in each case for change to take place."

"First of all, any change to the engine or transmission has to have either unanimous agreement or wait until 2008 - so engine and transmission, you need unanimity or it has got to be after January 1, 2008. But we have to announce that change before December 31, 2005, under the Concorde Agreement."

"Changes to the chassis or effectively all other parts of the car, we can do no sooner than January 1, 2006, provided we have agreement of the Formula One Commission, and that, in practice, means at least 50 percent of the teams provided you have all the organisers and promoters and so forth and other people with you. So, in practice, with half the teams we could change anything except the engine and transmission on January 1, 2006."

"For sporting regulations, I beg your pardon, the question of 2006, those changes would have to be announced before December 31, 2004, you have to give one clear year's notice. So 50 percent of the teams, decision before December 31, 2004, and you could change anything on the car except the engine and transmission. Sporting regulations could be changed with effect from January 1, 2005, again with the Formula One Commission, which effectively means 50 percent of the teams. I think there is one exception to that, which is the proposal to have a single tyre manufacturer."

"We require from the tyre companies that they give us a year's notice before they come into Formula One or before they leave Formula One, whatever the legal position, it would only be fair to give them a year's notice if we intended to go to a single tyre. So a single tyre, unless or course everybody agreed including all the tyre companies, couldn't happen until January 1, 2006, for the 2006 season."

"Other sporting changes, as said, could happen on January 1, 2005, provided they are voted and announced before October 31, 2004. I am sorry it is so complex, but that is how the Concorde Agreement works -- that is one of the reasons why I personally would like to get rid of it. So that is the schedule, now where are we?"

"On the engines, I must say there is a very serious discussion going on among the engine manufacturers. I think the great majority are in favour of going to a 2.4 V8, there is a minority who would prefer to stay with the V10, and there are some of them that are content with either solution. From our point of view, we are really waiting for a proposal."

"There is a great deal of discussion going on about details to do with the engines, particularly questions of parts and components and they are working on this, they have already had meetings and they have got a meeting today and I am very optimistic that we will see a substantial reduction in the cost of these engines. Now, just to be clear, of course there is nothing anyone can do to reduce the cost of an engine research programme, they do it inside the factory, they can spend what they like."

"What we are trying to do is to make sure that engines for a second team or even a third or a fourth team become very inexpensive. And the two ways of doing that are to make sure that the cost of the components, the research having been done, is low, therefore the materials are readily available and that the engines last a long time, they have a long life."

"With those two things you can make certain that a second or a third team could have engines inexpensively. Just to deal with one quick point there, it is sometimes suggested that if we stop people using these extraordinarily exotic materials they can get from the aerospace industry that we are in some way dumbing down Formula One."

"Of course, in a moment's reflection, you can see it is exactly the opposite. If you have a problem in Formula One with your crankshaft you can go and get an exotic material. If you have a problem in a road car, where you are producing maybe a million cars, you can't solve it by buying something very expensive, you have got to solve it by clever design. Well, why don't we have exactly the same thing in Formula One?"

"If they can design it really cleverly using ordinary materials they will be more successful than people who can't, and it is the same sort of assertion that the industry itself needs, it is a useful way of spending time and money, whereas an exotic material is a completely wasteful way of spending time and money. So, in a nutshell, the cost of the engines, the second and third teams and so on, comes down."

"If the major manufacturers continue to spend huge sums of money on research and development of Formula One engines it is certain that some of them will stop -- sooner or later the main board will say 'we are not prepared to spend this money and when that happens, if we want Formula One to survive in its present form, it is essential that there are inexpensive engines available for the teams which do not have a manufacturer to supply them with an engine as a first team, and the whole strategy is to get the cost of those engines down. That is really what we mean when we say low cost engines."

"On the question of chassis, that is almost entirely a question of, as people say, improving the show. We have got to make it easier for cars to race each other, we have got to make it easier to overtake. One of the problems we have at the moment is that a Formula One car, at most circuits, is at full throttle for between 65 and 70 percent of the time. If you compare that to, say, MotoGP, the motorbikes are at full throttle between 10 and 20 percent of the time, depending on the circuit."

"That clearly can't be right and if we eliminate the traction control, if we eliminate the electronic aids, I think you will find that we will get a very different pattern. Where there is some controversy is some people say well, let's have high grip, low downforce and hopefully plenty of drag. Another school of thought is what you want is low grip and if you get high aerodynamic downforce so much the better, it is like in the wet. The experts are all discussing that, all I am saying is that we have got to get it right."

"Whatever changes we make have got to work -- we don't want to find out afterwards that we have done it wrong. But I have to say that some of the best engineers in the Formula One teams are fully co-operating in an effort because everyone realises we have got to make it possible for the cars to race against each other and what that really means is that if you have got two drivers that are fairly well matched the car behind has got to have an advantage from the fact that it is behind. Back in the old days of slipstreaming, the car behind could easily overtake because of the slipstream."

"Now, for all sorts of reasons, that is no longer practical on most circuits because there isn't much of a slipstream, the braking distances are so short and when they try to get close to each other in the corners, as everybody knows, the turbulence of the car in front upsets the aerodynamics of the car behind, he can't get close and so on. All of these problems are undoubtedly soluble, but where I am very optimistic is I think we have now got the best brains in Formula One positively trying to help us solve the problem in everybody's interest."

"So we need to have that sorted out by the end of this year so we have a detailed regulation published before December 31, 2004, as I mentioned earlier, to come into force in 2006. Of course, any of these changes could come in immediately if we had unanimous agreement. A final point about the qualifying, there are a lot of discussions going on about qualifying. I think it is widely accepted that the present system, at least for those at the circuit, is not interesting, even the television people, I think, are also not entirely happy. Clearly if we had unanimity we could change it tomorrow. It is a question of getting that unanimity."

"I am not overly optimistic because there is always someone who disagrees. But there are a number of interesting things put forward, the one thing that we say is it must be simple, it must be something that can be readily explained otherwise it is just a waste of time -- people lose interest, it is too complicated. So we are waiting to see if the teams come up with something unanimous, I am hopeful that they will. That is very, very broadly where we are and the purpose of this gathering was really to bring everyone up to date, more or less, with where we are. And I am very happy to try to answer any questions that anyone might wish to put."

Mosley press conference transcript


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