McLaren-Mercedes and Williams-BMW are to take F1's governing body, the FIA, to arbitration over rule changes they believe are ‘dumbing down’ the sport.

McLaren-Mercedes and Williams-BMW are to take F1's governing body, the FIA, to arbitration over rule changes that they believe are ‘dumbing down’ the sport.

Team bosses Ron Dennis and Frank Williams believe the changes, which are being promoted by FIA President Max Mosley, will "undermine the fundamental values of Formula One as the pinnacle of motorsport and a technological showcase".

A joint statement from both teams this week stated: "Furthermore, both teams have deep concerns that the F1 Technical Working Group, which is made up of the technical directors from each of the teams, believes that the changes could increase the safety risk for drivers."

The F1 Technical Working Group feels the new system will have serious implications for safety because it will reduce the time available for the teams to carry out detailed checks between qualifying and racing from 18,5 hours down to only two-and-a half hours.

Under the new rules, cars will be returned to the team garages after qualifying but must remain under parc ferme conditions until they are returned to the central parc ferme at 6pm and locked up until Sunday morning of a grand prix event.

Teams will be allowed to carry out minor work on the cars from 8am on Sunday, again under the eyes of scrutineers, but cars will start the race in a similar configuration to that in which they ended qualifying.

After qualifying, teams will be allowed to perform tyre pressure checks, remove bodywork and fit cooling devices, water heaters, slave tyres, connect the jump battery, download data by physical connection to car and carry out work required by the FIA

Before the race, teams will be allowed to repair crash damage, replenish or drain some liquids or gases from cars, replace tyres with those of a different tread, change the cars’ main batteries, clean the bodywork and change brake ducts should there be a fluctuation in weather conditions.

Mclaren and Williams believe eliminating pit-to-car, as apposed to car-to-pit telemetry, will have a detrimental effect on driver safety.

In a letter sent to Mosley, Dennis said: "The FIA is trying to 'dumb down' F1. It has introduced sweeping new regulations for the 2003 season without proper consultation with the teams.

"We want Formula One to be stable, well run and professionally administered to ensure the continued success of the sport."

Williams added: "Some of these changes are against the spirit of Formula One, its restless drive for excellence and its need to live on the technological cutting edge.

"We believe that the FIA are taking an unnecessarily pessimistic view of the future of Formula One.

"It is misleading to suggest that Formula One is in crisis - it remains a uniquely popular and highly successful sport,” he added.

Original article from Car