Speeds to be cut - by agreement or force
Formula One racings governing body, the FIA, has asked for proposals to reduce the performance levels of the cars in light of recent accidents, which they say have tested the absolute limits of current safety regulations.
At Wednesdays meeting of the World Motor Sport Council it was unanimously decided that the Formula One Technical Working Group must come up with ways to slow the cars. The move follows high-speed crashes such as Felipe Massas in Canada, and Ralf Schumachers at Indianapolis in which he suffered two spinal fractures.
If proposals cannot be agreed, the FIA say they will enforce their right to impose changes on safety grounds. Any such changes would be announced in October and come into force three months later, in time for the 2005 Formula One season.
In stating the case for the need to cut performance, the FIA pointed out the huge decrease in lap times witnessed over the last six years. At Imola for example, this years fastest lap was almost nine seconds quicker than in 1998, while Melbourne and Monaco have seen 7.5 and 8.5 second reductions respectively.
On a separate matter, the FIA announced that 19 potential dates have been blocked for the 2005 FIA Formula One Championship. The dates are as follows:
March 6, March 20, April 3, April 17, April 24, May 8, May 22, June 5, June 12, June 26, July 3, July 17, July 31, August 21, September 4, September 11, September 25, October 9 and October 23.