Schumacher questions timing of changes

Reigning world champion Michael Schumacher has queried the timing of the raft of cost-cutting rule changes made by the sport's governing body, the FIA, in London yesterday (Wednesday). He says it is very short notice to make such big changes for 2003

Schumacher questions timing of changes

In his first press event of 2003 at Madonna Di Campiglio, Schumacher said he was unconcerned about driving with the changes, including the removal of traction control and fully automatic gearboxes, but wondered if they have been made too close to the opening round to be implemented.

"I got to hear these decisions very late last night and the feeling is that maybe a little bit short notice to apply certain rules," he said. "The teams, in the end, have to see whether they can deal with it or not, it's not for me [to say]. I race the car and for me, it doesn't make a huge difference because I race with whatever I have as long as everyone is racing to the same rules.

"There is simply a different challenge for me. I preferred the one where you have all the technical possibilities, because I don't like to take compromises in the race car, I like to make the race car as fast as possible and all the electronics have helped that."

Schumacher denied that he thought the FIA moves were aimed specifically to slow Ferrari down this season.

"Honestly not," he responded. "A good team will always be a good team. The success of a good team is not really because of one reason, there are thousands of reasons because there are so many different things on the car which make a car good.

"Some years ago, the decision was to make the rules on the electronics free, because people felt dissatisfied with the solution because they [couldn't] control it. Now we're back again to what we had some years ago, so it will be interesting how everything is going to develop and how everything is going to be seen again. Basically, to reduce costs with what is being done right now, I don't think that will happen. What happens in the future, I'm pretty sure that will reduce the costs."

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