News and views on motorsports

Friday, July 15, 2005


It looks like all the smoke blown up Max Mosley's arse and a little persuasion from Ron Dennis and Christian Horner on behalf of the Michelin Seven, the FIA have decided that "disciplinary proceedings against the teams had ceased to be appropriate and were no longer in the interest of the sport." Furthermore, "The Senate will therefore recommend to the World Motor Sport Council that the guilty verdict of 29 June against the teams be cancelled."

That lets the teams off the hook with the FIA and as well they should be. However, I'm not so sure it will go down well with the plaintiffs in the on-going class action in the courts in the United States. Perhaps, coming to some sort of agreement between them will give them some sort of coherent defence in those legal proceedings.

I'm not certain about this but that must be the first time that the FIA have reversed their position on a ruling. But then again, it must have been in their interest to do so as well. Whereas in previous cases, it was against individual parties, in this case it was against 70% of the Formula 1 grid, with serious consequences to their own image and their crown jewel, the Formula 1 world championship itself.

Will the politics end or at least go back down to previously normal levels? I doubt it but I'm sure the FIA must have learnt a lesson here about going up against a whole group of dissatisfied teams. Its ugly and is bad for the sport. And likewise, the teams too will decide in the future to these more civilized methods of solving problems.

I am happy about this but you see the Indianapolis debacle was never about the tyres alone. Whether there's a single tyre manufacturer in Formula 1 or 10 manufacturers is irrelevant. The politics in Formula 1 is caused be a deep dissatisfaction with the FIA on issues and views that have been long held by the teams. Issues like rule stability, the FIA's dictatorial style and stupidity, the equitable distribution of income and, though it is not often said publicly by the teams themselves, by the lopsided and blatantly favourable treatment of Ferrari by the FIA. For the politics to go away these issues must be resolved.

It is unfortunate that the fans in general and those at Indianapolis in particular, were caught in the crossfire of that on firefight. For there to be peace, the underlying issues must be addressed to the satisfaction of all parties. Hopefully, the recent mood of reconciliation between the parties paves the way to a long term solution. And the fighting will hopefully be confined to where it should remain, on the race track.

2005 is the best season in years. Its a two horse race to the championship with many supporting acts along the way. Its captivating in the sense that predicting a winner is a lottery. Lets hope the FIA and the teams keep it that way or improve it, not just for this season but for many years to come.

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