FIA proposals - key details 22 Dec 2005
After an unprecedented period of consultation - including input from over 90,000 race fans around the world, the FIA has published its draft Technical and Sporting Regulations for the 2008 season. The aim is clear - to drive down the costs of competing in Formula One and to improve the spectacle for fans.
"The real argument is not about sports governance or even about how much money FOM gives the teams, it's all about costs," said Max Mosley, FIA President. "One manufacturer is spending a sum greater than half of its total annual dividend. This is unsustainable and sooner or later the shareholders will notice."
The new regulations include:
A 'centreline downwash generating' split-plane rear wing to become compulsory - this will dramatically reduce the 'wash' from the back of a car, allowing closer racing.
Banning new technologies that give teams a clear performance advantage (and which are subsequently adopted by other teams) after one season - this will allow the teams to benefit from the innovation, but prevents out-of-control spending on trying to develop it.
A 19,000 rpm rev limit on engines to reduce costs, and also to "redirect engine research towards road-relevant technologies."
A standard Engine Control Unit (ECU) for all teams to limit the use of driver aids and to allow the FIA to check mileage.
A return to slick tyres to increase mechanical grip to offset the loss of aerodynamic grip. Drivers will also be able to adjust tyre pressures from inside the car to compensate for periods of slow running.
Other changes include reducing the minimum weight of a Formula One car from 605kg to 550kg to eliminate the need for ballast in cars, the use of fuel partially derived from bio-power sources and even proposals to allow manufacturers to experiment with the use of hybrid technology, storing and then reusing energy normally lost under braking.
Amendments are also proposed for the Sporting Regulations, including the requirement for engines to last for three events, tranmissions to last for four events, testing restrictions and a move to a single tyre supplier, to ensure a level playing field for all runners.
If adopted, the FIA is confident that the new package of regulations will help it to dramatically cut the costs of competing in Formula One and improve both the quality and closeness of racing.