FIA threatens drastic European date cuts

Europe will be allowed to stage just two Grands Prix in future if an EU dispute with the sport's governing body is not resolved

FIA threatens drastic European date cuts

As the row over the control of the sport and its commercial rights hotted up, FIA president Max Mosley said his organisation had become increasingly frustrated in its attempts to have a meaningful dialogue with the European Union.

If key issues are not resolved he said the governing body would start treating the EU as just one country and under FIA rules it would only be allowed a maximum of two races a year. That would leave nine events in Britain, Italy (2 races), Germany (2 races), France, Austria, Spain, Belgium fighting over two dates on the calendar.

Monaco is the jewel in the FIA crown and not thought to be in danger while Hungary is outside the EU.

Some dismissed Mosleys comments as sabre-rattling, saying Formula One cannot afford to reduce its calendar so drastically because there are not a sufficient number of quality replacements waiting in the wings.

At the heart of the row is the control of the sports multi-million pound income from television. The EU wants more than one governing body in each country and the commercial rights to be handled differently to the current process controlled by the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.

It has accused Formula 1 and other sports of monopolistic practices. In his toughest attack to date Mosley said Brussels bureaucrats did not understand what they are doing, accused them of making 'ridiculous suggestions,' possessing a 'high level of stupidity' and issuing dictats from Brussels without moving from their desks to study the sport.

Mosley said the FIA were not only frustrated by the EU's stance but their unwillingness to hold meaningful discussion. If the EU suggestions were adopted, he said, the sport would dissolve into the same chaos that has consumed boxing.

'You can no more have two governing bodies for a sport than you can have two governments for a country. A government only has a monopoly because it is democratically elected and it is exactly the same with our sports federations,' said Mosley.

He said the FIA would consider treating the EU as one country just as all American states are dealt with collectively.

'It would be absurd to have nine F1 world championship events within a single country. Faced with the choice we cannot, and our general assembly will not, allow 15 countries to dictate to the other 104 [in the FIA] how the statutes should be.

'The FIA has made clear it would not renew the contracts for any of its Formula One world championship races in the EU until the laws affecting the dispute were clarified satisfactorily.'

Mosley has said the FIA is in talks with other international sporting bodies in order to try and resolve the dispute. He said the FIA planned to host a meeting in Paris on the governance of sport later this year.

This would involve the IOC, FIFA and IAAF, said Mosley. He said UEFA was currently working out its own direction in this dispute. Mosley also said that he had urged the EU to throw open its planned hearing in Brussels on May 10-12 on competition in sport.

'We asked them to let us in, or to let in the media, but they want to hold the hearing in secret,' he said.

shares
comments
Hakkinen charges to last-minute pole

Previous article

Hakkinen charges to last-minute pole

Next article

Ralf delighted, Jenson despondent

Ralf delighted, Jenson despondent
Load comments
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021