has rejected claims that expanding F1's 'parc ferme' rule could drive down costs. Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that one cost-cutting suggestion from a top team is that mechanics and engineers be forbidden from working on the cars on a Friday outside of the 180-minute practice period. The apparent logic is that, just as no work is allowed in the 'parc ferme' period between qualifying and the race, the extended rule could reduce the size of the teams' race teams from 60 to 50 people.
But Auto Motor und Sport claims the small teams have rubbished the idea, claiming they vitally need Fridays to test new parts and do not enjoy all the high-tech simulation facilities that the bigger teams have back at base. And Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder suggested the plan isn't even necessary. "We were at Hockenheim with 47 people, and tested quite normally," he said. "I don't know why the big teams need 60 people."
Auto Motor und Sport also revealed that proposals to designate Ferrari
, Red Bull, McLaren
as the exclusive suppliers of 'customer cars' to the rest of the field is now definitely dead. The report said that because some of the smaller teams threatened to take the proposal to European court, the new Concorde Agreement will continue to disallow the sale of the monocoque, suspension, nose and other fundamental areas of the cars. (GMM)