FIA Meeting to Go Ahead

FIA president Max Mosley will press ahead with next week's meeting to discuss Formula One's future rules, despite a boycott threat from nine outfits due to attend, Autosport-Atlas exclusively reveals

FIA Meeting to Go Ahead

In the latest chapter of the ongoing battle to frame the future of the sport beyond the end of 2007, the so-called 'Group of Nine', made up of every team other than Ferrari, have made it clear that they are not ready to discuss new rules just yet.

On Thursday they went public with their decision to not attend the meeting scheduled in Paris for April 15.

But with the FIA well aware that the regulations for F1 from 2008 need to be published by the end of this year, Mosley is not willing to delay his timetable for finalising these rules and is intent on holding the planned meeting. Ferrari are now likely to be the only team in attendance.

An FIA spokesman told Autosport-Atlas: "The meeting will go ahead as planned. There is an open invitation to the teams but it is of course up to them whether they wish to accept or not."

The decision by the 'Group of Nine' to boycott the April 15 meeting comes after they similarly failed to attend an earlier discussion meeting on January 28, which left Mosley holding talks solely with Ferrari.

In the wake of fresh discussions between the non-Ferrari teams and the manufacturers planning a breakaway series for 2008, the teams are clearly hoping that their unified approach to stage a boycott will leave the FIA unable to frame their rules until the 'Group of Nine' are ready.

But the FIA have dropped a major hint that the continued decision by the teams to ignore the rules meetings could lead to them being frozen out of the decision-making process completely - if the FIA choose to rubber-stamp the new regulations in the short-term.

"We are very happy to welcome them," added the FIA spokesman. "We initiated this consultation some time ago so as to be inclusive as possible but, then again, they are not an essential part of the rule making process."

BAR boss Nick Fry said after the meeting with the breakaway manufacturers that it would probably take until July or August for the teams to have agreed on the rules that they would like to see for any series post-2007.

"We have a great alignment between the nine teams and the five manufacturers, and we're working through the four different working groups, with each of the teams reporting positive progress and a good endorsement of what is going to happen," he said.

"But this work will take a couple of months to complete. We are still heading towards our schedule of having something - which we will be pleased to share with the FIA and Bernie [Ecclestone] - probably around July-August time."

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