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Spanish GP: Friday press conference - with Max Mosley

NEWS STORY
07/05/2005

Max Mosley: I thought we ought to have a short press conference, this was planned some time ago, and what I wanted to do was briefly, with you, go through the season so far, to talk about the 2008 regulations, to talk about the longer term and then obviously to take any questions, or try to answer any questions that anybody might wish to put.

As far as the season is concerned, a quick word about Australia, because that was a strange incident, where somebody went off to court and got an order. Well, since those proceedings, I've seen the transcript of the proceedings and I have to say they were a complete farce, and the court was grossly misled.

Now, it is interesting, and the transcript is going to be made available after this press conference to anybody who wants to see it, but what is interesting is that the court were told a number of things which were not true and not told a number of things which it should have been told and in those sort of proceedings it's absolutely fundamental that you reveal all the details to the court because the other person isn't there. Not to reveal all the details is actually contempt of court.

Now there is no way in the world that the leading counsel that said these things to the judge would have said them if he didn't believe them to be true, that absolutely wouldn't happen, you could be disbarred for doing something like that, so he was obviously given some extremely misleading instructions.

If you are interested, read the transcript of the proceedings, you'll see it's really almost comical, the sort of things that he was told. So enough said for that, except that as far as we're concerned, it's not a problem, it doesn't set a precedent because the fundamental procedures were not followed, not even remotely followed, so it really isn‘t a problem.

On to the regulations; now there's been a certain amount of controversy about the 2005 and 2006 regulations and in particular the changes that were made. And if you recall, there are three main elements to this. There were the changes to the tyres, changes to the aerodynamics and changes to the engine. There was also a change to qualifying. Now the qualifying is, in my view, a mistake. It was proposed by, with all fairness to him, our commercial rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone, it was his idea, and the idea was that this would be good for the television on Sunday morning, and on that basis it was let through. I think everybody now realises that that's a mistake but occasionally mistakes are made. The difficultly now is to get it changed back, we would need to get all the teams to agree and we all know how difficult that can be.

But leaving qualifying on one side, the three important changes to the tyres, the aerodynamics and the engine, were brought in under Article 7.5 of the Concorde Agreement on grounds of safety. It's been suggested that this was somehow pushed through or forced through or done in some undemocratic way. Well, could I remind you that when that package was put, after several months of waiting for proposals from the technical working group, when that package was actually put, the technical working group discussed it on the 6th of September and they were unanimously in favour of the tyre regulations, that's to say the tyres lasting for the whole race and so on. They were also unanimously in favour of the aerodynamic proposals, the changes to the aerodynamics, and they were in favour by a majority of seven to three of the engine proposals.

So one can hardly call that undemocratic. The only reason that that package didn't go through the technical working group as a package was that we needed eight votes out of ten, and although we had ten out of ten on the tyres and ten out of ten on the aerodynamics, we only had seven out of ten on the engine. That wasn't enough to go through. So then it went on to a further procedure which ended up, as you all know, at the end of October, with us adopting it under Article 7.5 which I mentioned before.

Now I would just like to say something about the engine because the engine proposal for this year was not very popular, the two race engine, but I think it's been proven that it works. Although there weren't a lot of laps in the first session this morning, cars seemed, to me at least, to be running all the time in the second session. It was controversial, but nevertheless, seven out of ten were in favour.

The real controversy comes over the engine for 2006, and as everybody here knows, it's a 2.4 V8, with restrictions on materials, but also restrictions on minimum weight and a minimum height for the centre of gravity. These restrictions are designed to prevent a rapid escalation in power. If you draw a graph of the power of the engines versus date, starting back in 1955, it goes steadily up. There is an absolutely steady progression. We hope that by bringing in these restrictions we will slow that progression down. But in addition to that, these restrictions have a fundamental effect on the cost of the engine. It is necessary, under the current rules – if you want to be fully competitive – to throw most or all of the engine away after each race. For example, the block will flex and a block is very expensive. The block then gets thrown away by some of the engine manufacturers after every race.

Well the block for the 2006 engine is heavy and it's solid in order to meet the requirement of minimum weight and minimum height of centre of gravity and will last for a long time and the same is true of many of the components. This means – and it's fundamental - that a commercial engine builder will be able to build an engine that will be competitive with even the most expensive unlimited-budget engines that some of the manufacturers produce. The big budget engine will always have an advantage in power but not such a big advantage that the lesser engine or the person who has to pay for their engine, will not be able to compete. And in fact I would guess that at the beginning of 2006, the most obvious commercial engine manufacturer, Cosworth, may even have a substantial advantage because they have an enormous pool of data about V8s and all the problems with V8s that other people don't have. But I don't know, I'm not qualified to say that that will be the case.

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