News and views on motorsports

Sunday, April 17, 2005

FIA Meeting

The FIA and representatives from Ferrari, Jordan and Red Bull, met last week to discuss the 2008 Formula 1 regulations. In the FIA press release, the FIA sets a number of deadlines for the finalisation of the regulations.

27th May: First draft of the 2008 regulations
29th June: First draft to be discussed at the World Motorsports Council
1st July: Subject to WMC approval, first draft to be circulated to all stakeholders of the sport.
31st July: Deadline for written comments from stakeholders.
23rd September: Final draft of the 2008 regulations. This will include all comments and consultations from stakeholders who confirm their commitment to the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship.
26th October: Discussion of final draft at the World Motorsports Council.
28th October: Submission of approved final draft to the FIA General Assembly.

Stakeholders are identified as:

- Formula One Management;
- race organisers;
- race promoters;
- current Formula One drivers;
- potentially competing teams;
- potential engine suppliers;
- potential tyre suppliers;
- other significant suppliers;
- any credible potential stakeholder which requests a copy.

Hey how about fans? Don't us fans get any say at all? Guess not. And I suppose all of us combative Bloggers are definitely out of the question as well. ;)

Interesting comments from here, here and here. Also PlanetF1 has an editorial here. Pitpass story here.

Now, of course the "stakeholders" will be consulted but all drafts will in the end be discussed at the World Motorsport Council. Now, who do you think is a member of the WMC? Why, Mr Jean Todt of course. He is Max's choice for replacing him as FIA president. That's some bullshit right there.

Ditto the General Assmebly who are mainly behind Mosley anyhow. And of course, you know that Bernie and Max are tight as thieves. Then, you add the Ferrari boss in the equation.

What of the Group Of Nine (Go9)? I don't think Jordan and Red Bull's attendance is anything to worry about. They real heavyweights have stayed away. Of course, I can understand Jordan and Red Bull wanting to hear both sides of the story. They are after all fully independent teams.

However, they best have a care. Jordan uses Toyota engines. Red Bull is known to be in discussion with BMW and Honda. All of them still fully with Go9. Unless of course, Ferrari want to step in and supply them. Or if Cosworth, now under new management supplies them in the future.

The Go9 are sitting tight, insisting that nothing can be passed without their agreement. All rule changes they argue must go through the Formula 1 commission, despite the fact that the commission hasn't been active in a while. In the meantime, the Go9 say they will respond once they have gone through their own process and sort out all their points of view.

Pitpass has calling for reconciliation between the Go9 and the FIA/FOM/Ferrari axis of evil here.

Screw that. I say there can be no peace in our time as long as Ferrari get the special privileges and vetos. There should be no reconciliation as long as inequities, unfair, unjust and unsporting behaviours remain. Yes, we are all tired of the politics but how can peace reign when injustice rules the sport. If I were running a team, I just cannot see how I'd benefit in the long term from all this. Unfortunate but that's how the politicking starts.

What course of action should be taken? Removing the current FIA president is a good start I think. Replace that lawyer with someone who is not so tightly knitted with a team and the commercial rights holder. Some have even suggested an entirely new federation altogether. That sounds extreme but given the level of alleged corruption in the FIA perhaps wise in the long term. I think the major thing thats needed is to throw out the confounded Concorde Agreement and have a sport run transparently.

Its time for a fresh start and blow out all the cobwebs and decay that persists at the heart of the sport. The old must make way for the new. The regulatory process and the organization must evolve, into something better not just for stakeholders and fans worldwide. Yes, us poor blokes who ultimately splash the dosh to watch the sport.

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