F1 set for radical new look

Formula One's leading figures have rubber stamped major changes to the sport at a meeting in London today, in a move that will change the face of Grand Prix racing over the next two years

F1 set for radical new look

In a three-hour meeting at a Knightsbridge hotel, the Formula One Commission has given approval to a new knock-out qualifying format and the return of tyre changes for next season - as well as given preliminary approval to a radical overhaul of F1 car design for 2007.

The qualifying format will be exactly as was proposed by the FIA earlier this month, with the one-hour session broken up into three separate sessions.

There will be two 15-minute sessions at the start, where the slowest five cars in each will be eliminated from qualifying to take the rear most positions on the grid, before a final 20 minute shoot-out session to decide the first 10 places on the grid.

Tyre changes will also return to F1 after a single season where cars had to run with the same set of tyres for both qualifying and the entire race distance.

Beyond next season, the Commission also approved the concept of the radical Centreline Downwash Generating Wing car to be introduced in 2007 - which will run with slick tyres.

Grooved tyres are able to be outlawed because there will only be a single tyre manufacturer allowed in F1 after the end of next year.

The idea of the CDG car will now be worked on by F1 think tank, the Technical Working Group, where eight teams will need to approve the regulations before the end of this year for it to be introduced by the start of 2007.

FIA president Max Mosley said: "It has to get the agreement of the TWG, but everyone who has seen the car is very enthusiastic about it. So unless there is an unforeseen difficulty it will all be okay.

"This is the most radical change in F1 since the introduction of wings. It is a massive change and it will be interesting."

Not everything proposed by the FIA was voted through in the meeting, however. Plans to scrap third cars on Fridays for the bottom six teams and ban spare cars were rejected - as was the idea of outlawing tyre warming blankets.

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