02 May 2009

2010 and the WMSC

Last week the World Motorsport Council (WMSC) was gathered to pass judgement on McLaren, following their misleading of stewards in Melbourne. The punishment (in addition to the already-imposed disqualification): a three race suspended ban, to be imposed only if a further breach of the same rule occurs within 12 months. In other words, no further punishment, but watch your step.

However, more important were some decisions about next year's rules:
1) The number of entries permitted to be 13 instead of 12 (following several applications, there might be 26 cars on the grid for the first time in ages).
2) Voluntary budget cap of £40m or €45m (I haven't seen which is the official version, but most media, from the UK, Spain and Germany, quote both). If budget is not followed, teams must not have adjustable wings, and must have their engine revs capped.
3) Refuelling banned (supposed justification - give advantage to any team that can develop a fuel efficient engine).
4) Increase in minimum weight from 605kg to 620kg. This will allow heavier drivers some ballast even if they use KERS (a system that weighs about 30kg).

The teams mostly back the plans, but Ferrari are livid about the budget cap, whilst Williams want it to be compulsory. The big test for the teams is whether they can produce and maintain a united response to these changes (they suit the 5 privateers better than the 5 manufacturer teams - BMW, Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and Toyota).

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