Engine men happy with new format

The F1 manufacturers have given their support to the new schedule planned for F1 in 2004 and due to be ratified by the FIA World Council later this month

Engine men happy with new format

The new format will see an extra practice session on Fridays, with an extended single qualifying session on Saturday. This means more running for the cars and engines over the course of the weekend.

BMW Motorsport director Mario Theissen said in Japan: "The original aim was to use one engine a race weekend for reasons of cost reduction. That will only work if you cover more mileage with the engine than we do today and I think by the new schedule it has been achieved. That is very good. It is what all the engine manufacturers discussed last year at Silverstone and agreed to.

"I am pleased that the new regulations have put it in a framework that will work. Cost reduction has been done but I'm not sure whether spicing up the weekend will be an improvement as required."

With teams going 10 places back on the grid if they need to change an engine next year, there is obviously scope for contention over what exactly constitutes and engine.

Theissen explained: "My understanding is that it consists of all the parts inside the cylinder block and the cylinder head, including the block and head itself. Which means that external parts like an alternator or pump can be changed but you would not be able to open the engine and change something, let's say, in the valve train."

That has been possible this year but next year it will be deemed an engine change for which a penalty will be applied.

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