JANUARY 21, 2003
Technical Working Group hammers out rules agreement
The FIA Technical Working Group met in London Tuesday where they agreed to adopt most of the cost-cutting measures put forward by FIA President Max Mosley last week, including a complete ban on traction control and automatic gearboxes effective mid-season.
Traction control and automatic gearboxes will be disallowed starting at the British GP on July 20, and automatic launch control will be eliminated at that time as well, provided all the teams can operate their current clutches manually.
Cars will be held under parc ferme conditions between qualifying and the race, although they may be kept in their teams' garages under supervision, to prevent unauthorized work to the car.
Some of Mosley's demands were rejected or compromised. Pit-to-car telemetry will be eliminated immediately, but car-to-pit telemetry will not be eliminated until 2004, and radio communication between driver and pit will also be allowed in 2003, with the stipulation that television broadcasters and the FIA are able to access it on a special frequency.
Spare cars, which were to be banned under the FIA's original proposal, will be allowed if there is a car damaged in qualifying or practice, and will also be available if there is a red flag during the first two laps of a race. In the latter case, the spare car will start from pit lane.
The FIA is confident that the teams will be kept honest with the use of "new technology" and extra FIA sensors the governing body will require, but does not rule out software inspections if they were needed.
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