Sporting regulations - latest FIA proposals 10 Jul 2006
In a statement released by the FIA, following a meeting in Paris on 6 July 2006, the Formula One Commission has announced a set of proposed changes to the 2006 & 2007 Formula One sporting regulations.
The proposals include a suggestion to shorten the length of the qualifying session and a bid to stop the use of third cars during Friday practice sessions.
The Formula One Commission is responsible for any changes to the sporting and technical regulations proposed by the Sporting and Technical Working Groups (both of which include senior members from all teams) and then putting them forward to the FIAs World Motor Sport Council for ratification.
Currently, the qualifying session is divided into three knock-out competitions. Two 15-minute sessions are followed by the final 20-minute period in which the remaining ten drivers, who have recorded the fastest times, vie for pole position. If accepted the change, proposed by the Formula One Commission, will see the longer 20-minute period be reduced by five minutes thereby creating three equal 15-minute periods.
Another proposal put forward by the Commission will permit drivers to complete laps started after the qualifying session ends. The FIA statement argued that this change will ensure "all three periods of qualifying finish in the same way - i.e. drivers having started a lap started by the time the session ends will be allowed to complete it". Currently, drivers who start but fail to finish a lap before the end of the timed session are not allowed to make use of that lap to qualify for position.
The Formula One Commission also proposed to end the use of third cars during Friday practice in 2007. Currently, teams which finish outside of the top four (in the previous seasons constructors championship) can use a third car in Fridays practice session.
All the proposals have been sent to members of the World Motor Sport Council. If members agree with the proposals and a decision is made by fax vote, some of the changes which apply to this season, could be ratified in time for the French Grand Prix.