FIA green lights rules package

Formula 1 engine manufacturers will have to build 2.4 litre V8 engines from the start of 2006 after the sport's governing body confirmed on Friday that it was imposing the controversial new regulations to reduce speed

Although BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Honda had campaigned hard to avoid the switch from the current 3.0 litre V10 engines, arguing that the move would be more expensive and not reduce speeds enough, the FIA has insisted that the change will take place.

In a statement issued on Friday, the FIA defended the move and claimed that imposing the smaller power-units was as necessary as cutting back on the aerodynamic performance of cars if speeds were to be cut enough.

"Such restrictions have by no means stifled technical development of the chassis, but they have prevented uncontrollable increases in performance," said the statement. "In a similar way the proposed engine restrictions will significantly slow the rate of increase of engine power output.

"Current freedoms have resulted in engines approaching 1000bhp compared to the absolute maximum of 650bhp promised when engine capacity was reduced from 3.5 litres to 3.0 litres in 1994/5 following the Imola fatalities."

The announcement of the future technical regulations also included:

changes to bodywork including raising the front wing, bringing the rear wing forward, reducing the diffuser height and cutting back the bodywork in front of the rear wheels for 2005.

the limit of a single set of tyres for qualifying and the race from 2005.

engines have to last for two race weekends from the start of 2005.

those teams that do not have access to 2.4-litre V8 engines will be allowed to run rev-restricted V10 engines for 2006 and 2007.

The FIA took the decision to impose the new technical regulations because the teams had failed to come up with a package of rules themselves.

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