Alfa Romeo introduced its new Formula One car at the Paul Ricard Circuit at Le Castellet, France on Tuesday (2 December).
SV Mario Andretti climbing into Alfa Romeo. (no skirts).
SV Engineer tightening wheels.
CU Andretti reviving engine.
SV Andretti leaving pits.
SV Engineers working on Saudi Williams. (2 SHOTS) (Skirts)
GV Mario Andretti testing car around track.
SV Carlos Reutemann standing beside Saudia Williams and talking to mechanic. (2 SHOTS)
SV Ricardo Patrese seated in Brabham with mechanics (skirts) making notes and testing tyres. (3 SHOTS)
SV Patrese driving down straight on test run.
SPORT: MOTOR RACING
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Background: Alfa Romeo introduced its new Formula One car at the Paul Ricard Circuit at Le Castellet, France on Tuesday (2 December). They will contend the next Grand Prix season without "skirts", those contentious fringes around the lower edge of the car, which increases speed by giving better road-holding and cornering.
SYNOPSIS: Mario Andretti, Alfa Romeo's star driver, and his team, placed themselves firmly in the FISA (Federation Internationale du Sport Automobile) camp when they test drove new tyres at Paul Ricard. Though Goodyear invited the Italians for a test drive, at present, it's not even sure whether Goodyear will sponsor next season's FISA races.
A number of questions remain unanswered since FISA and FOCA (Formula One Constructors Association) had a dispute over whether to allow cars to have "skirts" next season.
World Champion, Williams, will race with skirts. They're on the manufacturers' side, along with Brabham, Tyrrells, McLaren and other great motor-racing names.
On the other side, Alfa Romeo are joined by Renault and Ferrari. They decided to head the governing body's safety warning and race "skirtless".
Drivers, Carlos Reutemann, Alan Jones, and Nelson Piquet disagree with FISA. They issued a joint statement saying racing safety would not be improved if the "skirts" were taken off. So they race with the fringe.
But the split in the Formula One world may mean that the last traditional championship was run last year. FISA decide who will race where. And they have announced next season will be run on the traditional circuits. FOCA decide on the teams, and they most of the stars signed up for a rival championship on new circuits.