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Jordan, Minardi call for rule-change confirmation 14 Aug 2004

Paul Stoddart (AUS) Minardi Team Principal in the FIA press conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, United States Grand Prix, Practice Day, Indianapolis, USA, 18 June 2004

Eddie Jordan and Minardi's Paul Stoddart have called on fellow team bosses to reach a speedy consensus on rule changes for next season so they can proceed with design of their 2005 cars.

The FIA have proposed a set of rule changes for next year, which include reduced aerodynamics, limits on tyre use and engines lasting for two race weekends. However, they have also given the teams the option of coming up with an alternative set of proposals.

This option is being pursued by the teams, but with no formal agreement having yet been reached, Formula One’s independent teams fear they will fall further behind the manufacturer-backed squads, as they do not have the resource to run parallel design programmes to cope with the different rule-change possibilities.

“We are not preparing and getting ready to build a new car and there is a simple fact for that, we cannot afford to make a wrong choice,” said Stoddart. “Here we are at the Hungaroring, traditionally a watershed race where people announce drivers, engines and are well advanced on their design for the following year and we haven't got a clue what the regulations are."

Stoddart was speaking in a somewhat heated FIA Friday press conference at the Hungaroring, featuring various senior team personnel, including Ferrari’s Ross Brawn, who, unlike Stoddart, claimed that agreement was effectively in place, at least on aerodynamics and tyres for next year.

On aerodynamics, he claimed that five or six of the teams have already written to the FIA, agreeing to the governing body’s proposals, while on tyres, he said that Michelin and Bridgestone have come up with a joint solution which has been accepted by the FIA.

“I think the only debate as far as I am concerned is the engine regulations where two teams in particular are objecting to the proposals,” said Brawn. “But in terms of building a car and knowing how the tyres are going to be run we think it's clear."

Jordan, however, disagreed, saying that until the team bosses sit down and agree the changes proposed by the Technical Working Group, next due to meet on Sunday morning, nothing is certain. "It is just preposterous to think that a set of rules and regulations for next year's championship are not clear and defined at this moment in time," he commented.