More Changes!

Formula 1 is to undergo another revolution next season with teams being handed a $40m budget cap. Teams are not required to comply with this cap but will be severely restricted on technical freedom if they don’t comply with the new regulations. The only team that seems opposed to this cap is Ferrari who’s attitude has generally been throw money at the problem and hope it goes away! Teams that comply with the cap will have unlimited reving engines, unlimited off-season testing time and unrestricted wind tunnel use, moveable front and rear wings and a further 40bhp from the KERS system. All these benefits will work in favour of the teams complying with the spending cap as they can develop their car more which will (hopefully) transfer onto the track come the start of the 2010 season. With this new regulations coming into force next year, it’s rumoured that three new teams will be on the grid include former BAR Honda team principle Dave Richards’ Pro-Drive outfit and the North Carolina based US Grand Prix Engineering. Other changes to come into effect next year will be a refuelling ban to reduce transportation costs of the refuelling rigs from country to country. I’m not so sure about this; 200 miles on a single tank of fuel will make cars very heavy and feel sluggish to drive and racing will be adversely affected in my opinion. I have a feeling that will go the same way as the single set of tyres rule being retracted after the 2010 season! In other F1 news, McLaren have gotten off very lightly after admitting lying to FIA stewards in Melbourne. Martin Whitmarsh’s McLaren have been handed a one year three race suspended ban which will only be enforced if McLaren breach the sporting code of conduct again during the remainder of the season. McLaren’s actions since Melbourne is what has saved them said Max FIA president Mosley, firing Dave Ryan who orchestrated “lie-gate” and submitting a written apology to FIA president. Both newly appointed team principle Martin Whitmarsh and world champion Lewis Hamilton considered quitting over the issue, it’s been a testing time for the Woking based team!

Plymouth Argyle are safe from the drop this season after Norwich failed to beat Reading at Carrow Road on Monday evening. Which is a great relief to all concerned, having to face Barnsley this Sunday in what would have been a massive crunch match with Argyle’s indifferent home form was a daunting prospect. Basically it’s a toss up between Barnsley and Norwich for the remaining place in the bottom three. If Plymouth beat Barnsley on Sunday and Norwich beat Charlton at The Valley, Norwich stay up on goal difference. If Barnsley draw at Home Park, Norwich will be for the drop regardless of their result against Charlton! It also seems that manager Paul Sturrock is staying for next season much to the dismay of many Argyle fans. He has said that over the off season he will be restructuring how the club works to get back to the way things were in his first tenure at Home Park. I really don’t believe that will work in the Championship, football in this league is a class apart from leagues 1 and 2, hoof-ball is never going to work as Argyle’s struggle this season has proved. I believe Sturrock is an old school manager who can’t adapt to the style of football that is required to be successful at this level!

The job market here in the US is dwindling further still, General Motors have just announced they are to shed another 21,000 jobs and we say goodbye to the Pontiac brand which spawned such cars as the Trans-Am and Firebird as part of the restructuring required to get further government funding. Also another US auto giant; Chrysler is poised to file for bankruptcy, although no job loses are planned as yet with FIAT being the likely party to take over Chrysler, while Daimler is to relinquish it’s 20% share in the company! On the other side of the Atlantic in the UK it looks like commercial vehical maker LDV will be entering administration with the loss of 800 jobs at it’s Birmingham base. A further 1200 jobs are likely to go as LDV dealerships close across the country. And thousands more jobs could go as companies that supply LDV falter as as an effect of LDV’s failure! Things are looking grim on both sides of the Atlantic right now!

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