Top teams take FIA to arbitration

Formula 1 team bosses Frank Williams and Ron Dennis have sent an open letter to the FIA, the sport's governing body, declaring their intention to challenge the recent rule changes to Formula 1 through the sport's arbitration process

Top teams take FIA to arbitration

In a press statement, Williams and Dennis say they are "deeply concerned" that FIA president Max Mosley is seeking to introduce changes which will undermine the fundamental values of F1 as the pinnacle of motorsport and a technological showcase.

"The FIA is trying to dumb down F1," said Dennis in the letter. "It has introduced sweeping new regulations for the 2003 season without proper consultation with the teams. We want Formula 1 to be stable, well run and professionally administered to ensure the success of the sport."

McLaren and WilliamsF1 are also concerned that the F1 Technical Working Group, which is made up of the technical directors of each team, believes that the changes could increase the safety risk.

According to the statement the F1 Technical Working Group has two main contentions. Firstly, the time available to carry out detailed checks on a car between qualifying and the race has been reduced from 18.5 hours to 2.5 hours, and secondly the elimination of telemetry which enables teams to monitor the cars for any serious defects during the race.

"We believe that the FIA is taking an unnecessarily pessimistic view of the future of F1," said Williams. "The FIA's proposals will remove and destroy many aspects and facets of our sport that have helped it prosper and thrive in the last 20 years. They are damaging to the very nature of F1 and limit its differentiation from other forms of motorsport.

"It is misleading to suggest that F1 is in crisis - it remains a uniquely popular and highly successful sport. Unfortunately, only a fraction of those revenues generated by F1 remain in the sport and go to the teams. Addressing this issue is the surest way of delivering stable and successful independent teams."

The FIA has responded with its own press release in which it states: "Any F1 team is entitled to seek arbitration under the terms of the Concorde Agreement. The FIA is confident that its position will be upheld."

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