The FIA has announced sweeping and immediate changes to Formula One, including the banning of driver aids and pit to car communication, and a restriction on the number of cars per team.

The FIA has announced sweeping and immediate changes to Formula One, including the banning of most driver aids, pit to car communication and a restriction on the number of cars per team.

FIA president Max Mosley, F1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone and all 10 teams reached agreement on the new rules at Heathrow's Hilton hotel on Wednesday. Mosley said: "Once the teams got over their initial shock they came round to the ideas."

In a strongly-worded statement, the FIA said teams had rejected its cost-cutting proposals over the last 12 months, despite the loss of two F1 teams, Prost and Arrows.

In terms of the new rules, only two cars will be scrutineered per team. Spare cars will not be scrutineered (save in exceptional circumstances as authorised by the stewards) and will therefore not be used.

Furthermore, each car will be required to go into immediately after making its second qualifying run. All cars will be released simultaneously from shortly before the start of the race, when all checks on all cars will have been completed.

And in what is arguably going to cause the biggest disruption to teams’ development programmes in the run up to the Australian Grand Prix on March 9, severe constraints have been placed upon electronic control of throttles, clutches, differentials and engine actuators. This will mean that traction control, launch control and fully automatic gear changing systems can no longer be used.

A team must be able to demonstrate that none of the costly electronic equipment is installed on its cars without software inspection. However, if it can be shown that immediate full compliance would add to teams' development and refitting costs, because the start of the season is now so close, the FIA is prepared to grant a derogation for all or part of the 2003 season.

Pit to car and car to pit telemetry and all radio communication between car and driver have been outlawed. This move is seen as a way of making it difficult for teams to change their pit strategies during grands prix or manipulate the outcome of races, something Ferrari was accused of doing at both the Austrian and American events last year.

The FIA has also paved the way for teams to save costs through sharing components. “Provided a component is manufactured and designed by a separate company or other third party, there is nothing to prevent two different constructors using the same component(s) on their respective cars,” Mosley said.

The measures will be a relief particularly to smaller teams such as Minardi, Jordan and Suaber. Such teams will have reduced air freight costs in 2003 because fewer cars, fewer parts and less equipment will need to be transported. The need for fewer personnel will also save on air tickets and hotel rooms, the FIA said.

Such costs will drop further in 2004, 2005 and 2006 with the need to move fewer spare engines and major components. CARtoday.com will publish details on further, and more radical changes outlined for Formula One from 2004 to 2006 on Friday.

Original article from Car