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F1 may throw up few surprises

The Formula One season this year promises action both on and off the track. Gearing up for 2005
PTI | By Vridul Gahlawat, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 10, 2005 05:25 PM IST

The Formula One season this year promises action both on and off the track with the International Automobile Federation (FIA) making a number of changes in regulations and the threat of pulling out by some teams looming large.

The new rules may even see Ferrari and Michael Schumacher's stranglehold over the sport being eased and emergence of other winners.

The proposed changes and restrictions on the use of tyres, aerodynamics and engines should really make an impact and help other teams step up to challenge Ferrari and their seven-time all-conquering world champion.

The German virtually swept the 2004 season, winning at 13 of the 18 circuits.

Now, Juan Paublo Montoya has joined forces with Kimi 'Ice Man' Raikkonen at McLaren-Mercedes and the team looks set for an all out assault on the championship.

The Columbian and the Finn have been cast as Formula One's fire and ice, opposite characters thrust together in what could prove as explosive a pairing as that of the late Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in 1988 and 1989.

Both are sure to give Schumacher a hard time if McLaren overcome the reliability woes that scuttled their campaign in 2004.

FIA also wants fair competition on the tracks. The new rules were introduced in a bid to reduce costs, improve safety and make races more competitive.

Drivers would have access to far fewer tyres in 2005 and will have to make a single set last through both qualifying sessions and the entire race.

This should force top teams like Ferrari to dramatically cut down on horse-power and revise strategies, while drivers will have to drive with tyre preservation in mind.

Aerodynamic regulations have also been changed with a higher nose and front wing section, a changed rear diffuser profile, and the bringing forward of the rear wing structure.

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