Ostensibly called by FIA president Jean Todt to discuss regulatory cost control, the meeting scheduled for May 1 at Formula One Management's Biggin Hill headquarters will severely test the executive powers of Formula 1's Strategy Group, and, by extension, the body's future.
Formed as part of the sport's post-2012 governance procedure, the Group consists of the FIA (six votes), FOM (ditto) and four so-called 'Championship Constructors Bonus' teams - Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes - plus Williams (through heritage) and Lotus, as reward for it being highest-placed non-CCB team in 2012-'13.
As an aside, one wonders which team will be awarded the sixth seat come 2015 should the black/gold operation continue its current downward spiral. As things presently stand, the sixth seat at the table is not allocated permanently, and on present form Force India should receive the call in 2015. However, given the team's relentless campaign against what deputy team principal Robert Fernley calls "disenfranchisement" - see below - the call may not materialise.
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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