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Formula 1 future depends on vote

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By (AFP) in London
  • Published 24.10.05

London: The short-term future of Grand Prix racing will be put to a vote on Monday when the Formula 1 commission meets to discuss radical regulation changes for the 2006 season.

A brand new qualifying format and the re-introduction of tyre changes during races are top of the agenda for the long awaited meeting between the sport’s biggest names, which will take place in central London.

Max Mosley, the president of the sport’s governing body, the FIA, and F1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone will meet with the team bosses as well as the representatives of the key sponsors and promoters.

They have been debating on how to dispose off the unpopular single-lap qualifying and are finally set to make a recommendation to be put to the ultimate decision makers, the FIA World Council on Wednesday. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “As far as Red Bull is concerned qualifying at the moment does not really work for the fans, there is limited interest.

“I think it is important that the spectacle is improved but we will wait and see the latest proposals. A knockout format could be interesting but I honestly don’t know if it will go through.”

The proposed knockout format for qualifying will see five cars knocked out after 15 minutes then another five out after a second 15-minute session before the remaining cars battle for the top grid spots.

The sticking point has been over the use of race fuel in qualifying, which was introduced with the single-lap format in 2003 and has proved a successful way of mixing up the grid and making races more exciting.

Some team chiefs want to make qualifying more eventful but none want it to be the detriment of racing and the latest solution is to run light cars in the two knock-out stages then fuel the remaining cars up for the final runs.

Some opposition to the re-introduction of tyre regulations is expected, a plan that was revealed when the FIA released their provisional 2006 regulations in Brazil in early October.

But Horner added: “There are pros and cons to a return to tyre changing and it is intrinsically linked with qualifying so we will have to see what happens in that area first.”

The teams will also debate banning spare cars and the use of third cars in Friday practice.

Mosley met the team chiefs at the season-ending Chinese GP last weekend and was confident their discussions were heading in the right direction.

At the Shanghai circuit Mosley said: “From our point of view I don’t see difficulties in the future, I think it is all going to end up quite peaceful. There is a lot of progress being made.

“At the moment I think there are even more proposals for qualifying than there are teams so I have no idea what is going to come out of that, I just hope it is not too complicated.”