F1 hopes to increase safety in 2008

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/M/Motorsportsgen.jpg' class='caption'> Formula One will continue to reduce costs and increase safety for the 2008 season, while also attempting to make the sport more exciting.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:50 IST
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Formula One will continue to reduce costs and increase safety for the 2008 season, while also attempting to make the sport more exciting by helping to facilitate overtaking. In recent years, the big budget teams have dominated the championship, leaving smaller teams with little chance. That has prompted the sport's governing body, FIA, to amend the rules to increase parity. "The world championship must remain financially viable for independent teams. Against this, two (possibly three) manufacturers want to win by spending unlimited amounts of money,'' FIA president Max Mosley said in a statement Wednesday. "This approach has caused great damage to motor sport, most recently to IRL in America. We don't want it in F1,'' Mosley added. New technology The biggest change that should help teams reduce costs comes from new technology. If a team comes up with something new that helps it win races, that technology will be banned the following season. The FIA believes that by banning the new technology, it will keep other teams from spending money to keep up, while also keeping all teams equal. Other moneysaving changes include limitations in some areas of aerodynamic research, reducing the minimum weight from 605 kilograms to 550 and allowing only certain materials to be used to construct the car. "The real argument in Formula One is not about sports governance or even about how much money FOM (F1's commercial rights holder) gives the teams. It's all about costs,'' Mosely said. Safety changes Safety changes include amending bodywork regulations to reduce downforce while maintaining drag levels, and allowing drivers to adjust tire pressure while the car is moving. Also, the rear wing will be split in two in order to increase takeover possibilities, while changes to the body regulations at the front should make the car behave better in traffic. Mosley was required to publish the 2008 rules before the end of this year. FIA is trying to head off a threatened breakaway series in 2008 by five manufacturers - Honda, Toyota, Renault, Mercedes and BMW. The FIA will also submit several changes to the World Motor Sport Council on March 22, 2006, including arranging for a single tire supplier in 2008, weight penalties for early replacement of engines or gearboxes, testing restrictions and a limit of two cars per team at an event. (AP)

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