BMW feel sting of FIA crackdown

Wed, 2 August 2006, 09:36

BMW-Sauber is feeling the sting in 2006 of the governing body’s crack-down on ambiguous interpretations of the rules.

The Hinwil-based squad looked to be on a fast-track to the formula one podium this year until the FIA said ‘no’ to its allegedly flexible wings, the innovative ‘twin tower’ bodywork, and – finally – Renault-like mass dampers.

It all came to a head at Hockenheim, where the ‘F1.06’ cars performed particularly poorly, leading boss Mario Theissen to observe that ‘the restrictions on our aerodynamics have obviously penalised us and dropped us back’.

Also to reporters in Germany, he pointed the finger at the FIA for not publishing well-enough defined technical regulations.

”It’s certainly not helpful,” Theissen said, ‘that (the rule definitions) change on a daily basis.

”You prepare for something and you should be able to rely on this.”

It is understood that, in the cases of the rear wings, the twin towers and the mass dampers, BMW sought and received FIA clearance before the parts were raced.

Theissen hinted that BMW suffered at Hockenheim as a result of having to remove the mass dampers, but would not comment specifically.

He was quoted as saying by Speed TV: ”Renault were seven tenths to a second ahead of us (at Hockenheim), as throughout the entire season, so maybe there is something we have in common.”

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