JANUARY 16, 2003
Teams react cautiously to FIA proposals
The opinion appears to be that the F1 teams have failed badly in their public relations as back in December they agreed a number of cost-cutting measures which were never made public. According to our sources these included a plan for single-suppliers of brakes, wheels, the underbody "planks" and an increase in the weight limit to 550kg. They are irritated that the FIA says that nothing was achieved.
Our conversations with team bosses have revealed that there are at least two engine manufacturers which will not accept the FIA's plan for a common electronic control unit for all the F1 cars and will withdraw from F1 rather than comply with such regulations. The FIA seems, however, to have predicted this by stating in its release yesterday that it will accept "a satisfactory alternative proposal by the teams" if they can come up with one between them. However they are going to be handicapped in this because the teams themselves insisted on a new regulation which states that they must demonstrate the compliance of systems "by means of physical inspection of hardware or materials" and that "no mechanical design may rely upon software inspection as a means of ensuring its compliance".
The biggest worry however is that the FIA's insistence that the cars must remain in parc ferme between qualifying and the race will not give the teams enough time to prepare the cars for the race to ensure that they will be completely safe.
The teams are working on the understanding that the proposals put forward by Mosley may still be modified to ensure that costs and kept to a minimum and safety is respected.