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  Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 19:46 GMT
F1 faces fuel rule change
FIA president Max Mosley
Mosley says that the rules will make F1 more exciting
Formula One drivers will have to start races carrying the same fuel load they finish qualifying with after a change in the rules.

Teams will have to rethink race strategies under the new regulations which will prevent refuelling between the end of one-lap qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.

With drivers favouring a low fuel load during qualifying, that could mean a whole new strategy on pit stops.

The warm-up session on Sunday mornings could be cancelled to negate the need to carry even more fuel.

you will get some very interesting strategies going on

F1 chief Max Mosley

Max Mosley, the president of the sport's governing body the FIA, is backing the change.

"The warm-up on Sunday should disappear and that is now the subject of a vote of the Formula One commission," said Mosley.

The new rule has grown out of attempts to find a solution to a problem caused by the new-for-2003 one-lap qualifying.

Teams had expressed concerns that the new system would lead teams to develop cars specifically designed for qualifying, without needing to worry about longevity.

In preventing that happening, the FIA came up with the idea to lock the cars away from the teams between qualifying and the race.

And this new idea is an extension of that thinking.

But Mosley hopes it will have the benefit of sending cars into the race with differing fuel loads - and therefore on different strategies. This should make racing more interesting.

"What will happen is that you will get some very interesting strategies going on," said Mosley.

"There will be the dilemma of do I want to be fast in qualifying and make an early pitstop or not."

Cash fund threatened

Mosley also urged team bosses to resolve difficulties over a fund to help out the smaller outfits.

It had been thought that broad agreement had been reached for a cash pool to prevent more teams from following Prost and Arrows into liquidation but no further progress seems to have been made.

"I gather there are problems," said Mosley.

"It would be a great pity and very short-sighted for them (the team bosses) not to do something because if one more team goes out of business, then two of the remaining ones are going to have to run three cars.

"If we sink below 20 cars then out come the third cars and that is expensive and carries no benefits for them.

"So there is a very powerful case for everybody getting together to get us over this year."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
FIA chief Max Mosley
"All the teams I've spoken to are happy with the idea"
Renault technical director Mike Gascoyne
"It's going to be interesting"

Formula One will be very different in 2003 thanks to a number of major changesAll change
Step-by-step guide to F1's new rules
See also:

11 Feb 03 | Formula One
Links to more Formula One stories are at the foot of the page.


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