F1 teams say yes to return of traction control

Traction control is set to legally return to Formula 1 after a meeting of the F1 Technical Working Group, the teams' own think tank, voted unanimously for its re-introduction last Thursday

F1 teams say yes to return of traction control

Traction control - which reduces wheelspin by monitoring wheel speed and adjusting engine power if wheelspin is detected - was banned eight years ago as part of the FIA's campaign to reduce the number of electronically-controlled driver-aids at the highest level of the sport.

However, F1 engineers say that the ban is unworkable and that a number of teams have been and are still using forms of traction control since it was implemented.

The F1 Commission still has to approve the measure at its meeting in Monaco on December 7th, but a source within the FIA, motorsport's governing body, says this is little more than a formality and that the teams' wishes will be respected.

FIA president Max Mosley is opposed in principle to allowing driver-aids back into F1, believing that the skill of the driver should not be diluted, but according to the source, he will go along with the consensus of the teams.

At Thursday's meeting, a letter from the FIA's technical delegate Jo Bauer was distributed to the Technical Working Group. In it, Bauer said he was satisfied that at least one team had been using traction control in the period up to and including the 1998 season.

The ruling is also set to legalise several other associated forms of electronic control, but it is believed that torque steer differentials are to remain banned. Other 'smart' systems, such as active suspension and semi-automatic gearboxes, will also stay on the banned list.


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