Guest Author - Christine Blachford
The Formula One Teams Association have been doing a lot of research behind the scenes over how to cut costs and improve the spectacle of F1, thereby securing it's future. After pressure from Max, they have come up with a raft of proposals for the future of F1. These suggestions would have to be agreed by the World Motorsport Council, but could be implemented as soon as that happened.
Williams recently complained that they were losing out on the wind tunnel restrictions, given that they have invested heavily in the infrastructure and do not have the same CFD capabilities. FOTA is now proposing that CFD time could be traded in for wind tunnel time, as long as the maximum limits aren't met.
They have also suggested a restriction on the number of updates allowed each year on specific parts. For example, wings can be updated five times, sidepods only three. This should reduce the cost of replacing parts for every Grand Prix. FOTA have also presented details of a gearbox freeze, similar to the engine freeze, plus standard KERS in 2010.
To try and make Formula 1 more accessible, and more entertaining to the fans, FOTA have come up with some ideas. Rather than support Bernie's medals idea to replace the current points system, FOTA have suggested changing the top three points to 12-9-7 rather than 10-8-6. The idea behind this is to get drivers fighting for position on track, rather than settling for a points haul, knowing they're only missing out on a single point.
They have also floated the idea of having some points available for the constructor's championship, for the team who complete the fastest pit stop during a Grand Prix. It also looks like the length of time could be reduced, with a proposal for the total distance to be shortened to 250km, or maximum duration of 1 hour 40 minutes.
Apparently, the market research was inconclusive on qualifying, so FOTA have not made any suggestions on how to change Saturdays. They are continuing to evaluate the options though.