Tuesday February 20th, 2001
Some Formula One teams have failed safety tests ahead of the new season starting in Australia on March 4, International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Max Mosley said on Tuesday.
"By no means have all the teams passed the safety tests," Mosley said. "The biggest problem has been the side impact tests.
"Some people have failed that and other tests as well. But I feel they are likely to have that sorted by Melbourne."
He did not name any of the teams.
The new regulations for the 2001 season include more strict safety tests, with higher force given to all sides of the roll structure above the driver's head.
Also, the energy exerted on the side of the structure test is a 400 per cent higher than in last year's and on their pursuit to keep the weight of the chassis as low as possible the teams are struggling to find the required stiffness.
Mosley also outlined new safety measures to be introduced in 2002 and 2003.
He said speed limits will be put in place to increase safety after Formula One accidents, with the yellow flag system currently in operation being replaced by an electronic device to slow the cars.
The move to increase safety comes after race marshal Paolo Ghislimberti was killed by flying debris after a collision in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
He was the first fatality in Formula One since the death in 1994 at Imola of Brazilian world champion Ayrton Senna.
"From 2002 the normal yellow flag system will be replaced by the imposition of variable speed limits," Mosley said.
"These limits will depend on the layout of circuits at the accident site and the degree of risk to track workers.
"It will be decided by the race director and communicated electronically to every driver in the area of the accident.
"Cars will be equipped to run just under the speed limit. Cars exceeding the speed limit will be detected and given a stop-go penalty."
Mosley said power steering and brake balance assistance will not be permitted next season. The brake balance of a car is currently assisted electronically.
The impending arrival of traction control, which is expected to be introduced for the Spanish Grand Prix in late April after being banned for the past seven years, has prompted the FIA to reduce the number of driver aids in other areas.
Mosley said the safety car will be removed from Formula One and be replaced with a "speed profile system" in 2003.
The "speed profile system" means all cars will be kept at a constant speed after Grand Prix accidents and the gap between cars will also remain at a constant.
A collision avoidance system will be introduced to avoid cars running into each other in thick spray and poor visibility, as happened to Michael Schumacher at Spa in 1998 when his Ferrari hit the rear of David Coulthard's McLaren.