The FIA issued a statement confirming that the Belgian Grand Prix is
excluded next season due to the tobacco ban but could be included in 2004 if
Belgium allows the event to run with tobacco sponsorship until the end of the
2006 - the date set for a world-wide ban on tobacco sponsorship.
The statement read "On October 1st, 2002, the FIA World Motor Sport
Council decided that unless the teams competing in the 2003 FIA Formula One
World Championship agreed unanimously to participate in the 2003 Belgian Grand
Prix without tobacco sponsorship, this event could not remain part of the
World Championship. The decision was endorsed the following day by the FIA
General Assembly. Yesterday the teams confirmed that none of them was prepared
to race at Spa with a tobacco ban in place. Several of the teams currently
have contracts which preclude them racing at any additional events without
tobacco sponsorship. The 2003 event has therefore been definitively removed
from the World Championship.
The FIA and the teams hope that measures can be enacted in Belgium which will
allow the event to comply with the proposed world-wide ban on tobacco
sponsorship scheduled to come in to effect at the end of 2006. It could then
be considered for inclusion in the 2004 World Championship."
The FIA announced today a number of changes to the Formula 1 regulations.
None of the radical approaches were adopted (like adding ballast to the faster
cars) but the Qualifying format has changed as well as expanding the points
system to cover the top 8. Team orders will be prohibited but it isn't clear
how they will be policed. Additionally, the FIA decided to drop the Belgian GP
from the Calender.
Here are the changes in full:
The FIA Formula One Commission met in London today (October
28th, 2002) and decided on the following regulation changes:
There will be two qualifying sessions - Friday and
Saturday, both 13.00 - 14.00;
qualifying to be one (only) flying lap for each car, cars
to run one at a time;
running order on Friday to follow Championship (previous
year at first race), with Championship leader going out first, 2nd in
Championship running second, and so on;
running order on Saturday will be determined by the
Friday times (which do not count for the grid), so that the fastest on
Friday runs last on Saturday, the second fastest second last, and so on.
This will remain Friday: 11.00 to 12.00 and Saturday: 09.00
to 09.45 and 10.15 to 11.00 (with qualifying from 13.00 to 14.00 both days, as
Provided that by 15 December, at least three teams undertake
to the FIA not to run more than 10 car-days of private testing between 1 March
and 1 November, the teams which have given this undertaking will be able to
test at each Event from 09.00 to 11.00 on Friday and may use their spare car
and their test driver during this period.
World Championship points
From 2003 points will be awarded down to 8th place on the
(previously to 6th place on the scale 10:6:4:3:2:1).
Team orders which interfere with the race result are
The 2003 Belgian Grand Prix
In the absence of unanimous agreement by the teams to run at
the 2003 Belgian Grand Prix without tobacco advertising, this event has been
removed from the World Championship calendar.
Each team will be allowed to use two different dry tyres at
each Event, (previously each tyre company could supply only the same two dry
tyres to each of its teams). Teams will continue to be limited to 10 sets of
dry tyres per Event. Only one type of wet tyre to be used per Event.
Quotes from the 2002 6 'n' Pole competition winners and top 10 ... Quotes
24-Oct: China and
Bahrain are expected to be added to the 2004 Formula 1 Calender after both
countries reached agreements with Formula 1.
Bahrain's Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa
announced that he signed a long term agreement with Formula 1 starting from
The Bahrain circuit is planned to open in March of 2004 and is expected to
host the final race of the season. FIA President Max Mosley described the
plans as the most exciting F1 project in decades and said "We've been
talking about having a grand prix in this region of the world and particularly
in one of the deserts for more than 20 years
This circuit that is being planned out in the desert is one of the most
exciting projects we have seen in Formula One for a long time."
Meanwhile Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has signed a 6
year contract with China to host a Grand Prix race at Shanghai. Ecclestone
said "We've had many, many offers for us to hold Formula One racing in
different parts of China and I'm very, very pleased that we decided to wait
I will guarantee we will be here in 2004, the circuit will have been finished,
and it will be one of the best circuits in the world. Hopefully Shanghai will
be able to hold Formula One even after 2010."
Both Mosley and Ecclestone have indicated that existing
events will have to be dropped in favour of new ones but they didn't comment
on which of these events will be dropped.
The All-American Formula 1 team set-up by Dan Gurney
has been put on hold due to economic uncertainty and lack of long term
sponsorship. The group issued a statement that read "Despite a
concentrated effort by a dedicated group of individuals, efforts to establish
an all-American Formula One team with Dan Gurney as the catalyst have not
succeeded in the short term.
The economy and the availability of multi-year sponsorship look less promising
than only a short while ago. Some uncertainty in the future direction of
Formula One racing does not help either.
The deadline we set for ourselves, which was dictated by the amount of time
required by Ford Cosworth to put together their engine build and trackside
support package, has not been met.
We were not prepared to commit to a situation which was not properly funded
for at least three years.
It has been a long time since the American public has had a home team to cheer
for in Grand Prix racing and, for now, it appears they will have to wait a
BMW's agreement with Williams ends in 2004 and
they have yet to decide on what they will be doing beyond that. BMW Motorsport
Direct Mario Theissen indicated that they may continue their relationship with
Williams but on revised terms but they might set up their own team or quit
altogether. He said "We want to become world champions by 2004. Only with
perfect collaboration in all areas -- that includes the exchange of all data
and the common use of computer simulations and research facilities -- can we
beat Michael Schumacher.
The options (beyond 2004) are building our own Formula One car, continuing our
collaboration with Williams in a more appropriate form or quitting Formula
Meanwhile Gerhard Berger who heads BMW's engine program has called for changes
to Formula 1 to make the events more interesting. He said "The thing that
needs to be done now is to put down in writing various approaches, and to have
people who know the business select those that advance our sport.
We must aim to bring about races in which there is a lot of overtaking and in
which it is not certain from the outset who will be the winner.
Everybody is aware that Friday is too dull and should again become part of the
qualifying by fairly simple means."
As Jordan switch from Honda power to Cosworth power,
they won't be testing until the new car is ready. The Cosworth engine doesn't
fit in the current car and the team won't be building a hybrid car.
Schumacher has described the 2002 season as 'unforgettable' and said
"It was an unforgettable season, unbelievably good and unbelievably
successful. You can't say any more than that. There are hardly words to
describe what we've managed this year. You just have to look at the
For me, one of the most impressive statistics is the fact that I finished
every race this year, that I didn't have a single technical defect to
complain about. That is absolutely outstanding, because it's so unusual.
But it shows the quality of the work done at Ferrari and the absolute
dedication of all the Scuderia staff, whether at the race weekend or on
the test circuit or in the works at Maranello. All these people can be
extremely proud of themselves; they've achieved something special and
managed to do something which had seemed impossible: to improve on last
year's result. I know very well what I have in them and how much I owe to
them, and so I'd like to thank them sincerely and send them my best