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FIA president Max Mosley said on Friday that the sport will have to wait until the first few races have been run before declaring the new regulations a success.

New rules were brought in this season aimed at slowing the cars to improve safety by extending engine life to reduce engine power and reducing the grip gained from aerodynamics and tyres.

But with Vitantonio Liuzzi only finishing around 1.5 seconds slower than last year's pole position time in the opening practice session, the cars look set to remain at similar performance levels to last year.

The FIA has been criticised for pushing through the new regulations, which are also aimed at reducing costs, but in an official Q&A, released by the FIA, Mosley insisted the governing body had not acted in a dictatorial manner.

"The tyre and aerodynamic rules for 2005 and 2006 were agreed unanimously by the teams, the engines by a large (7 to 3) majority and the tyre companies, also, are pleased," Mosley stated. "They will be bringing (we are told) 4 sets per car to a race compared to 19 sets per car last year. All rules can be criticised, but we must wait for a few races before we can be sure if we and the teams which supported us were right."

The rules were introduced with the assistance of Formula One's Technical Working Group, and the biggest sticking point in discussions was over the FIA's demands for long-life engines and, ultimately, a change in cylinder size.

But Mosley defended their plans and added: "Up to now it has always been the chassis engineers who have had to cope with restrictions. The engines were sacrosanct.

"But restrictions were necessary to slow the rate of increase in power. Don't forget that back in 1994/5 we were told by the engine builders that 'the laws of physics' would prevent a 3-litre engine going much above 600 horsepower.

"A very helpful side-effect is that commercial engine builders will be able to supply engines for the new formula which will be at, or very close to, the level of performance of even the highest-spending major manufacturer."

This year the 3-litre V10 engines currently used must last for two races before being replaced and next season teams will have to introduce all-new 2.4-litre V8 engines which should radically reduce power.

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