Analysis: F1 Dances to a Different Tune

Back-tracking is always advisable when signposts indicate the road ahead leads to an abyss

Analysis: F1 Dances to a Different Tune

Formula One appears to have decided to do just that since last weekend's British Grand Prix.

Some of the key players in the long-standing power struggle between the manufacturers and world governing body have found the brakes and engaged reverse gear after taking the sport closer to the brink of crisis.

Instead of conflict, the talk now seems to be of conciliation and compromise.

Even if the reasons remain unclear, although obviously nobody would benefit if the sport went over the edge and split in two, there have been enough comments and statements in recent days to suggest a sea change.

Last week, FIA president Max Mosley was portrayed in some quarters as Formula One's most hated man - dictatorial, high-handed and at odds with teams, drivers and manufacturers.

In the aftermath of last month's US Grand Prix tyre fiasco, there was talk of race boycotts and of the manufacturers possibly speeding up their plans for a rival series, being threatened from 2008.

A full-blown crisis was averted when the FIA stepped back from imposing immediate sanctions on the seven Michelin teams, all of whom had failed to race at Indianapolis because of concern about the safety of their tyres.

However, Minardi boss Paul Stoddart still called for Mosley's head and a rumour went around, later denied, that the teams had decided to put up their own candidate to try and unseat the Briton in the FIA's presidential election in October.

"If F1 is to survive and thrive, it has to be without Mosley," Stoddart had said.

Different Picture

Since Silverstone, a different picture has emerged.

Renault's Flavio Briatore, in an interview with Germany's Welt am Sonntag that was then published on the team website and e-mailed to reporters, praised Mosley and poured cold water on suggestions of a future split.

"Max Mosley has done a very good job in recent years," declared Briatore.

"He is an intelligent, capable man who has good ideas. That doesn't mean that everything he suggests is perfect but I am in agreement with his most important points."

Renault are a founder member of the manufacturer grouping plotting the rival series but Briatore said all parties in Formula One needed to get together as soon as possible.

"There is no war in Formula One, and there won't be," he added, suggesting that the FIA, commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone and the teams could work out a deal to move forward without the banks that now control the commercial rights.

"We are looking for a compromise with the FIA and Ecclestone," said Briatore. "We don't have a problem with Bernie nor with Max or the FIA. We simply need to restructure everything in a sensible fashion."

The FIA then published a note, relating to previously proposed 2008 regulations, which many saw as another U-turn in taking a softer line on technology.

While the world body said it was responding to the opinions of fans, after a survey highlighted the importance of technology to them, the letter was also an olive branch to teams and manufacturers resistant to any 'dumbing down'.

The general tone was far more conciliatory than that of previous missives.

"If there is some support for such ideas, we should like to discuss possible action for 2008 as a matter of urgency," declared Mosley.

The manufacturers are now expected to reveal their own proposals for 2008 at next week's German Grand Prix in Hockenheim, with every likelihood that they will not be massively different from the FIA's.

shares
comments
BAR, Toyota Exploit Testing Loophole
Previous article

BAR, Toyota Exploit Testing Loophole

Next article

FIA Senate Absolves Michelin Teams

FIA Senate Absolves Michelin Teams
Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga Plus

Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga

The appearance of a revised Aston Martin in Spain caused controversy but PAT SYMONDS explains why the FIA investigation found the Silverstone team had no case to answer

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Plus

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 2, 2022
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Formula 1
Jul 1, 2022
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022