FIA fires warning shot at rebel teams

McLaren and Williams have been sent a clear message by the sport's governing body, the FIA, to back off with their attempt to take it to arbitration over the introduction of cost-cutting measures for 2003

FIA fires warning shot at rebel teams

AUTOSPORT understands that the FIA believes such action by the rebel teams could be the catalyst for a revolt by Formula 1's manufacturers, who could pull out of the sport as a result.

The FIA last week announced a delay in its plans to ban traction control from the British Grand Prix until the start of 2004. In the statement, it warned of the consequences if the arbitration is not resolved by the start of next season.

The FIA said it was not willing to invest an estimated £1million on 'spy in the cab' software devices to ensure that the teams are abiding by the ban with the arbitration issue still outstanding. The deadline for resolving the traction control issue is November this year, and the arbitration will almost certainly not be resolved by then - unless it is called off.

Another solution would be to use a standard ECU, but insiders believe that this would lead to several manufacturers questioning their involvement in the sport. One high level source told AUTOSPORT: "The manufacturers would simply not put up with it. Many would pull out."

For the full story, read this week's AUTOSPORT magazine.

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