F1: FIA mandates Ecclestone, Todt to make key decisions

(L-R) Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone speaks with FIA President Jean Todt on the grid before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit on July 5, 2015 in Northampton, England.

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The FIA World Motor Sport Council met Wednesday in Paris and took the unusual step of giving Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone a mandate to address key issues facing Formula One – which could mean they could introduce measures that have not been voted through by the teams in the F1 Commission.

The big issue at the moment is power units, as manufacturers are due to present proposals in the middle of January. Based on what they say, Todt and Ecclestone have agreed to come up with answers by Jan. 31.

"The World Motor Sport Council approved, by a near unanimous number (just one vote against), a mandate for the FIA President, Jean Todt and the Representative of the Commercial Rights Holder, Bernie Ecclestone to make recommendations and decisions regarding a number of pressing issues in Formula One such as governance, Power Units and cost reduction," the FIA said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the WMSC also addressed some key regulation changes, including clarification on how the engine token system will work in years to come.

"The number of power unit tokens allowed for in-season development will be allocated as follows over the coming seasons: 2016 – 32, 2017 – 25, 2018 – 20, 2019 – 15," the FIA said.

"Any new Power Unit manufacturer will be allocated 15 tokens in their first year, and 32 in their second."

It also confirmed that all manufacturers can now run previously homologated engines.

"Power Units homologated in previous seasons may now be re-homologated," the FIA added. "Previously, no manufacturer could supply more than one specification of PU. The World Motor Sport Council was also advised that the FIA had agreed for Ferrari to supply a fourth customer team with a 2015 specification Power Unit in 2016."

The latter is a reference to Scuderia Toro Rosso.

The tire regulations have been adjusted to allow teams to have a choice of three tires each weekend.

"Of the 13 sets of dry tires available to each driver, the tire supplier will choose two for the race (only one of which must be used in the race), and one set (the softest available) that may only be used in Q3," the FIA said. "Each driver may then choose their remaining ten sets from the three available compounds.

"Unless intermediate or wet-weather tires have been used, a driver must use at least two different specifications of dry-weather tires -“ at least one of these must be the one chosen by the tire supplier."

The FIA World Motor Sport Council also announced changes to the Virtual Safety Car.

"In the event of a Virtual Safety Car (VSC), DRS will now be re-enabled immediately after the VSC period," the FIA added. "Furthermore, the VSC may also be used in practice sessions to reduce the amount of time lost during a stoppage."

The council also announced there will be 21 World Championship events in 2016, compared to the 20 events that were held in 2015.