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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 July 2005, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
Mosley makes U-turn on technology
FIA president Max Mosley
Mosley is proposing power-saving systems in F1 cars
Motorsport boss Max Mosley has performed a dramatic U-turn in his stance on technology in Formula One.

A month after proposing low-tech rules for 2008, the president of governing body the FIA said he wanted to allow cutting-edge technology from that year.

The move will be seen as an attempt to woo the road-car manufacturers in F1 in the row over the future of the sport.

The manufacturers, who are threatening to set up a rival series, had been dismayed by Mosley's low-tech ideas.

Mosley's views had been altered by a survey of F1 fans carried out by the FIA, a spokesman said.

In the survey, 80% agreed that advanced technology set F1 apart from other motor sports, and 64% said they looked forward to technological innovations each season.

Technologies which improve car performance by saving energy or reducing mechanical losses should be encouraged
Max Mosley
FIA president

In a letter sent to the F1 teams and made public on Wednesday, Mosley asked the teams to consider the "technology/cost issue" and what should be permitted in future.

Mosley said that the FIA's preliminary view was that "technology which helps the driver to control the car... has no place in F1, which should remain a supreme test of drivers skill.

"On the other hand, technologies which improve car performance by, for example, saving energy or reducing mechanical losses should be encouraged.

"These do not devalue a racing driver's skills and their development can benefit the ordinary motorist."

He mentioned "hybrid" energy retention systems, which are used in environmentally friendly road cars to store up energy used during braking to give a power boost for acceleration.

"Such systems will eventually be on all road cars... deployment in F1 would greatly accelerate the rate of development of such devices as well as promoting public acceptance and consumer demand," it said.

Mosley said there was a strong case "for putting the emphasis on useful technology as a means of gaining performance.

Mika Hakkinen in a McLaren in 1998
McLaren were developing regenerative power in 1998 only to have it banned

"If there is some support for such ideas, we should like to discuss possible action for 2008 as a matter of urgency," he wrote.

He also suggested the legalisation of movable aerodynamic devices, which have been banned in F1 for decades.

"In the longer term we would propose setting up a small committee from the major manufacturers and perhaps some academics to advise the FIA on possible car and aerospace technologies for use in F1," said Mosley.

"We would then start to think about regulations five or even 10 years ahead of their introduction."

He warned that "permitted technologies must either be relatively inexpensive to develop or of a kind which bring paying technology partners into F1".

Mosley is at war with five of F1's car manufacturers and seven of its teams, who are pushing ahead with plans to set up a rival series.

They want more control over F1's administration, a greater share of its revenues, and are upset with what they see as Mosley's haphazard governance.

And while Mosley's new views on high-technology will be welcomed, his U-turn may be viewed as another example of his lack of consistency.

That is because McLaren-Mercedes were pioneering a version of regenerative power in F1 in 1998, only to have it banned by the FIA.

Mosley is due to meet McLaren team owner Ron Dennis and Red Bull sporting director Christian Horner this week in what is believed to be an attempt to resolve some of the differences between the two camps in F1.

It is thought they will try to defuse the tense situation that has arisen from the fiasco at last month's US Grand Prix, when seven teams refused to race because Michelin could not guarantee the safety of its tyres.

The FIA, Dennis and Horner would not comment on the meeting when approached by BBC Sport.

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