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  Saturday, 19 October, 2002, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Williams wary about changes
Frank Williams
Williams wants to see more overtaking
Formula One team boss Frank Williams says proposed changes to the format of next year's world championship must be considered carefully.

A nine-point plan, which includes adding weight penalties to successful drivers, has been suggested in order to boost the sport's falling popularity.

And the Formula One Commission will vote on the proposals on 28 October.

"This is the most important meeting for Formula One in two decades," Williams told The Times.

"I have faith that common sense will prevail. Our guiding criteria must be to concentrate on matters that improve the show.

Other ideas to help combat the disillusionment felt by fans following the domination of Michael Schumacher's Ferrari team over the past few years include:

  • Swapping drivers between different teams
  • Restrictions on the cars' electronics and aerodynamics

However, Williams believes that restructuring race courses would have the biggest impact in increasing competition between drivers.

"We need to focus on the tracks. We need tracks that reflect the technical status of the cars and have tracks long enough to enable overtaking," he said.

The FIA, the sport's governing body, already appears to be making moves in that direction.

It was announced on Friday that Formula One races will be held on a state-of-the-art racetrack in Shanghai, China in 2004.

Shanghai will host the race on a seven-year contract though it wasn't clear whether one of the existing 17 races would be sacrificed in its place.

See also:

14 Oct 02 | Formula One
18 Oct 02 | Formula One
17 Oct 02 | Formula One
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