Rule changes to qualifying and points from 2003

The Formula One commission, comprised of teams, tyre and engine manufacturers and other officials, met in London today and have decided on major changes to qualifying sessions for future Grands Prix. The current system of a one hour session on ...

The Formula One commission, comprised of teams, tyre and engine manufacturers and other officials, met in London today and have decided on major changes to qualifying sessions for future Grands Prix. The current system of a one hour session on Saturday has been scrapped and qualifying will now take part on both Friday and Saturday.

Drivers will have one flying lap each day and will take it in turns to go out on track for solo runs. The Driver's championship standings will dictate the order.

"Qualifying will be one flying lap with each car running one at a time," FIA president Max Mosley announced. "Running order will be that of the championship with the championship leader going out first. The running order on Saturday will be determined by the Friday's times, which do not count for the grid, with the fastest going out last. It will put a lot of pressure on each of them on one flying lap."

The points system, currently 10,6,4,3,2,1 for the top six, will be changed so that the top eight finishers will benefit. The race winner will still score ten points but from second place on down will be 8,6,5,4,3,2,1 -- the new system should keep the championship closer: "We are changing the points system that will have the effect of making it harder for a driver to win the championship easily," said Mosley.

Team orders will also be banned as much as they can be to rule out finishes such as Ferrari's staged one-two at Austria this year. Mosley is positive the ruling will be enforced: "If there is a suspicion we will be able to do something about it. Carry on with team orders, as we saw this year, is against the sport."

Also, tyre companies will now be able to custom make tyres for each team they supply to. Proposals such as driver-swapping and weight ballast were dismissed. Mosley hopes the new rulings will bring about changes: "It is a fine line between not doing anything and not doing too much," he said. "On balance, it seems what we are doing is likely to produce a significant change."

The other decision was that the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps has been axed from the 2003 calendar due to Belgian's new anti-tobacco laws. Teams came to the agreement that they did not want to run without tobacco sponsorship: "The teams have not agreed to run the event without tobacco advertising so this event has been removed from the calendar." Mosley confirmed.

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Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari