On Thursday, November 3 the Formula 1 Commission will meet in Geneva after Bernie Ecclestone called for a special sitting of the 26-strong body. The meeting was called in writing by Ecclestone during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend - giving the 14 days' notice demanded by Schedule 9 of the Concorde Agreement - with the primary reason given as being the name changes requested by Team Lotus and Lotus Renault GP.
However, according to sources, Ecclestone requested that additional items be added to the agenda, and it seems that F1 has heeded his call, for the final agenda includes no fewer than nine items, ranging from the approval of the 2012/13 regulations, through to said team name changes (with Virgin now wishing to eradicate all references to Richard Branson's group and become Marussia) and calendar matters.
The Renault and Lotus name changes were supposed to be behind the meeting © LAT
So, what does the Swiss Roll contain? For starters the agenda is hardly public, so it has been pieced together. However, in such meetings 26 totally different individuals - each with their own agenda - have different takes on matters, so an element of posturing invariably accompanies requests for information. There were a number of interpretations of agenda items, so the meeting is sure to be lively, extended and ultimately fruitful.
The name change issue should be the least contentious, for the entire paddock wishes that two Lotus-named teams would get on with it and relieve F1 of this unnecessary confusion. However, Ferrari and Sauber, among others, have requested clarification on (future) name changes as there is little doubt that willy-nilly title adjustments ultimately affect the quality of 'the show' by confusing sponsors and fans (F1's primary customers).
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South African-born Dieter trained as industrial engineer before holding down a variety of senior motor industry marketing and manufacturing positions. At the age of 40 he decided to follow his passion, and became the first and only South African journalist to cover Formula 1 regularly. Dieter joined AtlasF1 at the beginning of 2004 – a year prior to its merger with Autosport – and his regular column offers an intriguing analysis of F1’s politicking and commercial chicanery. Although now also proudly Belgian, he gives his domicile as "Wherever F1 duplicity lurks".@RacingLines More features by Dieter Rencken