Max seeks low downforce racing

Max Mosley is advocating a massive reduction in downforce and a return to slick tyres in a bid to bring overtaking back to Formula 1

Max seeks low downforce racing

As well as drastically reducing the costs involved in competing at the top of the sport, the FIA president is also determined to increase the amount of wheel-to-wheel racing in F1.

"There is a very strong case for a big reduction in downforce," he said. "I think this is now well established. With an increase in grip - that is to say more grip from the tyres - but much, much less downforce. If we had that we would get a lot more overtaking.

"The sort of changes we have been doing make no difference to overtaking, but if you go right down in the 10 per cent (downforce) region, and you combine that with big slick tyres, you are then going to get overtaking. So we are going to look at that very carefully. We are going to get expert outside advice on that, but there does seem to be a case for going in that direction."

The changes to aerodynamic and tyre rules are just two small parts of the large package of regulation changes proposed by Mosley in a letter to teams earlier this week, and expanded upon at today's team principals meeting at Heathrow.

Mosley's principle recommendations are as follows:

* Standard brakes
* No spare car
* Standard drivetrain
* Limitation of component materials
* Standard ECU
* Fixed car design (with two changes allowed per season)
* Calendar stretched (so that only US races and Asian races would be back-to-back)
* Freedom to sell components to other teams

If all ten teams agreed to these changes - and only Ferrari attended today's meeting - then the proposals could be implemented in time for the 2006 season. Otherwise the changes will have to wait until the existing Concorde Agreeement is replaced at the end of 2007.

"We went through all the points that were included in that paper that we sent out, and we reached agreement on a lot of them," said Mosley. "We believe that some of them can be brought in sooner than 2008, but we can't bring things before 2008 unless all the teams agree. It remains to be seen whether that can happen.

"I think the main significant things are that there was complete agreement that we should have a standard ECU, though it needs a working group to look at all the implications. There was agreement that we should have standard brakes, they could come in '06. There was also agreement on fixing the centre of gravity in connection with the car. Again that needs to be looked at by a working group, and will be."

The significance of the standard ECU proposal is that it would allow the FIA a great deal more control over the level of electronic equipment on the cars, and could lead to an enforceable ban on systems like traction control. It has previously been thought that the major manufacturers would be opposed to the imposition of a standard ECU as it would impinge on their freedom to develop new technologies.

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