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The Formula 1 changes to the regulations announced from the 2003 season were not as radical as some of the suggested changes but still have a number of changes that the organisers and teams hope will make the sport more exciting.

The changes are:

Qualifying - The format has been completely changed. Each driver will have a single flying lap on Friday - order of which is determined by the drivers standing in the championship and another flying lap on Saturday - order of which is determined by the reverse order of the fastest times from Friday. 
This will drop pole times as the track won't be a 'grippy' and the drivers will be more cautious in their approach as they only have one chance.
From a spectator point of view, qualifying sessions will be run in full as drivers will be forced to go out at a certain time and so the '30-minute' real qualifying session has gone.
But will qualifying session be as exciting as they used to be ? Will this new format help make the races more exciting ?

Points - The FIA decided to award the top 8 finishers with points, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. This will help the mid-field teams to score more points and reduces the gap between 1st and 2nd and 3rd and 4th. Is this enough though ? Should there be points for the top 10 ? Pole ? Fastest lap ?

Team Orders - The FIA statement read "Team orders which interfere with the race result are prohibited." Does this mean no more number 1 drivers ? If so, how will it be policed ?

Testing - Trying to put a limit on track testing, the FIA gave the teams an option of reducing their test time to 10 days between March and November and in exchange the team can test for 2 hours on the Friday morning of a Grand Prix event. 
Testing at the Grand Prix track gives the team more time to set-up their cars in preparation for Qualifying and the Race but is it worth limiting the test time to just 10 days ? Should this have been mandatory ? Will the top teams take it up ?

Tyres - Suppliers will now be able to supply each team with 2 different sets of dry tyres. This gives the teams more say in the tyres they want rather than having to take whatever the top teams dictate, however won't this increase the costs for the tyre suppliers and if a team wants to choose a specific compound won't they have to conduct a lot of tyre testing which forces them not to take up the testing option offered by the FIA ?

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What others are saying:

The Qualif-flyer's comments
The Editor's response

I'm sick to death of the #@$% that goes on every new formula 1 season concerning the rules and regulations. 
WHAT is the justification for slowing down the cars? 
Speed and technology and the competition between the teams to determine who has the fastest car and best technology is what formula 1 is all about. The FIA'S aim, as I believe it, is to reduce costs. WELL it appears to me that Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosely must be affected by these people realise how MANY MILLIONS the teams are spending on ensuring the engines don't blow up because of this pathetic one engine per weekend rule...... 
Formula 1 could have been so much more faster and exciting if it wasn't for turbocharger banning, changing to grooved tyres, reducing engine capacity, and that bloody ridiculous wooden plank beneath the car to reduce has reduced speed but, IMPORTANTLY - IT HAS MADE THE CARS LESS SAFE as grip has been reduced. These changes have done nothing but damage Formula 1 - Matthew F - Australia

I' believe that the cream will always rise to the top. The changes that have been made, I believe, will in a small way is heading in the right direction. The success of any major sporting league is measured by it's popularity, the more popular the interest the more importance is placed on the achievements of sport outcomes. Being too 'pure or precious' about its definition can be just as harmful to it success as an event. Reduction in fans, means a reduction in money to lubricate the show, means a reduction in the scale of the show. However, no-one wants a circus either. Qualifying, will give advantage to circuit experienced drivers. one lap only qualifyers, will add extra tension to the observer's excitement (similar to the Olympic Games effect when every competitor's 'big moment', one chance to perform, 'best man on the day', next chance another four years away.) 
It works well in Australia here with the Local category 'V8 Supercars' which run the top ten qualifiers for an additional one lap flyer for final positions, and points awarded as an incentive. The lottery factor, at a guess is 20% unpredictable. When grid position plays such a crucial role in race success, I believe the drivers will still be 'on it'. 
I have no problem with the points score system, as long as it is reasonably simple for the average man to follow, except perhaps the radical idea of awarding a single point to drivers and manufacturers that receive the chequered flag and are outside of the top eight. 
Tyres, Yes, adds extra dimension to the strategy game 
Team orders, I believe, the only way to truly eliminate team orders is to have 'one car only' teams. However, I don't believe that could be a serious option. 
Thanks for the '2 bobs worth' - Gary M - Australia

Hi all, 

It is clear that things are very different in Europe then in the good old U.S. of A. The very strange ideas posed by Max & Bernie and the outlandish remarks back and forth. I hate to say it, but I miss Jean Marie Baleste. At least he had a firm clear vision of what Formula One should be and his era was a very good time for F1 racing. Max And Bernie are the problem. They have waited too long to make changes and are very misguided. 
1) Qualifying should be one day. Saturday Morning warm-up, then qualifying. 
2) New Points System is close to what I suggested. 
3) I don't know about team orders. If Ferrari was a little slicker in the way they directed their drivers this past year, we would not even be talking about this issue. This was their only major mistake this past year! I think team orders will still exist and I think nothing can change that. Problem with Ferrari is their cars were so good and so evenly matched that they were force to use this tactic. 
4) Tires are a joke. It is still two tire companies suppling tires. The good Bridgestone tire that works for Ferrari should work for the other teams. Same goes for Michelin. All teams fighting the same conditions (Grip, Wear and Balance). Again, Ferrari just had the best chassis and was better on tires. 
5) My feeling is they should do more with the race tracks. To have the Belgian GP not included next year is a crime! Make the tracks have more passing areas and for the spectator, there is nothing like a very long straight away with the cars on full top end. I say don't run on tracks that have slow boring tight turn areas that serve no purpose. Design tracks that the cars can really race! 
6) I still like my plan for a simple, standard main tub design with standard engine attachment points built by someone like Dallara. No Barge Boards & standard wing shapes. The effect would be immediate. All teams would have much more parity and cost would be reduced by at least half. Suspension, engine, transmission would be a free zone. Look at our NASCAR racing. All different teams, very close racing and huge fan turnout. Speak to you soon, Frank - USA

Not that I think anyone but the true die-hard fans will ever read this, coming as late in the day as it does, I still want to get in on the discussion. The new rules have been announced by today (11/1/02) and I have to say I am relieved. For the most part they won't have much impact other than lowering the value of F1 points. 
The rule about "no team orders that affect finishing" seems beyond ridiculous to me. What kind of team orders WON'T affect finishing? "Wave to the sponsor"? "Remember to thank Bernie E. whenever interviewed"? 
I guess some fundamental remarks are in order here: the point of a race is to see who is fastest. Not who is most deserving of speed; or who can get the most speed per penny spent or who can put on "the best show". People who want a show can watch NASCAR which is something between the WWF (WorldWide Wrestling Federation) and "Reality T.V." 
What I mean by this is that the excitement is manufactured, not real. It may be true that to those who wanted someone other than Michael and a car other than Maranello's to win were disappointed for the most part this year. But Michael is a brilliant driver (reminder: you can't "give" the race to your team-mate unless [a] you happen to be leading it and [b] your team-mate happens to be in second place! The fact that that happened so often this year is a testimony to the dedication and talent of the Ferrari organization, not an indictment of F1 racing!) and his car was untouchble this year--his gracious remarks testifying to this suggest how exciting their achievement was. To finish on the podium in EVERY RACE; NEVER to have a technical problem that caused a DNF. That's something every team SHOULD BE AIMING FOR. 
Maybe the problem is that too many teams have set their sights too low? 
Before you turn off in the mis-guided belief that I am a Ferrari fanatic I'd like to state for the record that when I was a kid and Mercedes was contending I was totally on the side of the silver cars! Last year I prayed for and cheered for Jordan in every race. I've never been a Williams fan, and I don't know why this is, because I admire Sir Frank. I am luke warm about McLaren, though, again, I admire D.C. (I hope BMW does make their own car; I think I could root for them). 
What does all this have to do with anything? F1 fans like me love RACING --and our allegiances and dreams are anything but LOGICAL. Racing, indeed, is fundamentally ILLOGICAL. Like life. No matter how they try to make it "come out right," the only finish that matters is the REAL one. Who gets to the checkered flag is NOT always the richest, or the prettiest, or the nicest, or the most deserving; who gets to the checkered flag on a given day on a given track is the FASTEST. Hello? God is a racing fan, too, you know. And contrary to your superstitious beliefs, he/she isn't a tifosi! Just a fan - Jim W - USA

I must be the only one who agree with these changes, for gods sake the season being over by the half way stage of the season is good for no one but the fans of that team, I am not a Ferrari hater in fact they are one of my favorite teams but it was just terrible this season. 
I totally agree with qualifying changes, as much as I am not a fan of Indy car racing you have to agree how much more competitive the racing is, and so what if the lesser teams get some points now and again, there wouldn't be too many people who would disagree that Webber deserved points at a number of tracks this season but missed out by a couple of positions especially in France, I mean to get that car to 8th was an awesome effort, it is now at a stage where no matter how good the driver is this does not reflect in end of year standings for drivers like Webber, Irvine etc... and isn't that what it should be about the best drivers being rewarded ??? 
I agree about the overtaking problem but that is all I agree with the rest of you guys, that was for me one of the worst seasons ever, give them credit for actually giving new things a go, and maybe some of the surprise will come back in 2003 - Clint - Canada

For qualifying I would rather have seen a time limit, say 5 or 10 minutes, instead of just one lap. It will certainly eliminate the problem of traffic. 
I don't see how adding points paying positions is going to change much of anything. Now you will have a driver in seventh, that would have pushed for sixth, just stay where he is to collect 2 points. I think this may have the opposite effect that is intended. 
When so much depends on pit stops, how are you going to police "No team orders"? We certainly won't see anything like Austria again, but it doesn't have to be that blatant. I think this will probably be the most ignored rule in the book. 
The new tires and testing rules seem to be mutually exclusive. If you don't test how do you know what works? If you do test you have to hope that you guess right on race day. 
Other than qualifying, which MAY mix up the starting grid, I don't see any of these rule changes making a lot of difference. Except for testing they don't do anything for costs, they don't make the playing field any more level, or increase competition, and they don't address the real problem, lack of passing. opportunities. 
If cars were able to pass, without losing all their grip, or if tracks were designed or modified with passing in mind, then there would be a lot fewer parades and a lot more racing. This doesn't mean I will stop watching, I just wish the powers that be would try to solve the real problems instead of confusing movement with progress - Jeff S - USA

I think the qualifying change is the biggest disappoint of all the changes. Track temperature has so much to do with how well you qualify and by placing these restrictions on the times that you can qualify, wont be the fastest car that gets the pole. Then what happens if it rains in the middle of the session? There is also the risk of a fast car being in the back of the field during the race which could cause an accident during the race. In addition, as I understand it the 1st car out will be the champion from the previous year or the winner of the previous race. If this is true then doesn't it benefit the 2nd or 3rd place drivers better who can see how the car before them is reacting to the track? Who wants to be 1st especially with the point structure of which you can win the championship from 2nd or 3rd - Jayson B - USA

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