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Home > Sports > News > Reuters > Report


Schumi welcomes delay in 'driver aids' ban

April 01, 2003 17:12 IST

Ferrari's world champion Michael Schumacher has welcomed Formula One's decision to dealy a ban on so-called 'driver aids' until next year.

"I have never hidden my opinion about electronic aids," the Italian team's web site quoted the five-time champion as saying ahead of Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

"I like them because they give the driver the possibility to fully exploit the potential of the car and you don't have to compromise anything.

"I think that it is reasonable that the ban has been put back to next season.

"Simply, it is better to be able to prepare yourself for the new system in good time - at the end of the day, the new regulations were introduced with the aim of saving money.

"And with this postponement, that objective is surely more realisable."

The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) announced last week that systems such as traction control, launch control and fully-automatic gearboxes could remain until the start of next season.

A ban had been scheduled to come into force from the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 20.

Schumacher, who has failed to finish on the podium in two races so far this year in the worst start of his career, also prefers the old system of qualifying.

A new single lap format, devised to liven up the sport and cut costs after a year of Ferrari domination and dwindling television audiences, has been introduced this year.

The changes have been criticised by Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, unhappy that qualifying is now more about tactics than the fastest car on the track, although others have praised it.

"If there were 10 Bernie Ecclestones, there would be 10 different opinions," said Schumacher.

"Everyone has his own idea as to which direction the rule changes should go. In the end, it depends on what they are aimed at doing; in my opinion, this hasn't been clarified yet.

"Personally, I preferred the old way; maybe because I grew up with that system. The younger drivers who know only this new qualifying style will perhaps see things in a completely different way.

"I will race, anyway, under whatever rules they decide."

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