Team bosses welcome new rules

Formula 1's new rules package has been greeted with approval from the sport's team bosses

Team bosses welcome new rules

The 10 team owners formed a substantial part of the 26-man Formula 1 Commission, which yesterday drew up a package of new rules to be adopted in 2003. While not radical - especially considering some of the proposals that had been suggested beforehand - the general feeling is that they will go some way to spice up the show and address the problem of declining viewing figures.

"The most pleasing thing is that there was not a dissenting voice," said BAR boss David Richards. "We are in a cyclical phase and we are not witnessing the death throes of Formula 1. But it does need a lift and that is what we have given it. Some cynics will suggest it is not enough, but Formula 1 has been very successful for the past 20 years and we didn't want to tip things too far.

"I believe that this is everything that is needed but we will have to wait for the middle of next season to see. I think next season is probably going to be vintage F1 again."

BMW motorsport boss Gerhard Berger was pleased that a knee-jerk reaction to a season blighted by bad publicity was avoided. "I'm happy that drivers swapping cars and a weight handicap aren't going to happen," the Austrian told BBC Sport. "The adopted measures are sensible, but we'll have to see how they work in practice. For instance the weather and state of the track are going to play a huge role in qualifying. But the new distribution of points makes sense, it will increase the number of teams who can score points."

Eddie Jordan's team stands to gain not only through the opportunity to score more points, but also by reducing its costs by opting to test for less than 10 days in exchange for greater track time at a GP weekend. The Irishman was one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the changes.

"It was a good meeting with some very, very positive moves forward," he said. "I have been calling for changes to improve the show, and also to control costs, for a while, and I think the outcome of the meeting is very encouraging."

Jaguar team principal Niki Lauda was more cautious in his appraisal, but was at least happy with one of its aspects. "The team orders are gone which is the most important thing," he said.

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