Friday February 16th, 2001
By Alan Baldwin
Grand Prix team bosses have given the go-ahead for the return of traction control later this season.
"It appears that there was unanimous approval reached on a package of different measures regarding electronics in Formula One," a Formula One source said on Friday.
The heads of the 11 teams and the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) met in London on Wednesday to discuss plans to allow the so called electronic "driver aids" back into the sport after a seven-year ban.
The decision will now go to a fax vote of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council for final approval.
The FIA has said this will be held by March 1 but the source said it was likely next week.
If the Council votes in favour, the FIA has said unrestricted engine electronics may be allowed as early as the Spanish Grand Prix, fifth round of the world championship, in Barcelona on April 29.
The readmission of traction control, which reduces wheelspin, is part of a package of measures to improve safety, but is a controversial subject.
The systems were banned in 1993 amid concern that they were reducing the role of the driver but have proved very difficult to police effectively since.
Many drivers have said they are against systems that make cars easier to drive while recognising that legalised devices should end the suspicions of cheating that have surfaced in recent years.
But Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw was quoted as saying he did not think the return of traction control would make much difference.
"Now you have got competition (between Bridgestone and Michelin) the tyres are so sticky that there will not be much wheelspin," he said. "So to have traction control is a waste of time and money to be honest."