Formula 1 row nearing end

Fears about a Formula 1 breakaway championship should be finally laid to rest in the next few days, with teams and the sport's chiefs poised for a series of key meetings to secure grand prix racing's future

Formula 1 row nearing end

Although there had been fears that a walk out by teams of a FIA Technical Working Group meeting in Germany earlier this week would reignite plans for a rival series, behind the scenes moves mean the ongoing political crisis is now actually heading to a resolution.

The first major step to finding the solution is a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, where F1 teams are planning to sign a legally binding agreement that will control costs over the next few years. Putting that in place is vital for bringing the FIA on board.

Further talks are then scheduled, which will perhaps run on into the week prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix, to get a Concorde Agreement signed between the teams and F1's commercial rights holders CVC.

Once these two agreements are in place, then the documents are set to be presented to the FIA for them to sign. It is understood the governing body will be told to sign the documents or CVC and the teams will begin working together on their own championship.

Ross Brawn said he was optimistic about the situation going forward, feeling that Wednesday's setback in discussions between the FIA and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) was merely a 'blip.'

"It was disappointing," he explained. "Nobody enjoys those things and in the technical area a lot of the teams have had a very good relationship with the FIA over the years and it's very disappointing when those things happen. It was just an untenable situation. If we get all the other matters sorted out then we can get the technical side back on a sensible footing.

"We are seeking a solution with the commercial rights holder and the FIA to get everybody happy and comfortable with going forward. I don't want to say too much. There is a lot of work going on and it is being done in the right spirit. Wednesday last week was very disappointing but I hope it was just a blip in the process rather than a chasm."

When asked if in the wake of the financial document getting signed off on Wednesday he was confident the FIA would join the Concorde Agreement, Brawn said: "I really hope so. We need to sort this out. All the teams are suffering. This is not a helpful environment for sorting out our commercial situation.

"You cannot tell partners or investors what the future holds, and we want to be able to do that. We want to have confidence in explaining what F1 is going to be about in the next five years, so we really do need to get that all sorted. It is a terrible distraction in what's a fantastic season. It's a great shame."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said that he hoped the teams could settle all outstanding issues with the FIA and CVC.

"A FOTA series is clearly an option, and we need to know quickly what we are doing," he said. "The later we leave it, the more difficult it is. So, I don't think that will be based upon individuals and egos that are in F1, it will be based upon - do we have an acceptable contract? Do we have an entry at the moment? I am a little bit confused about that I suppose.

"FOTA is not here to campaign against any individual, it is here to try and improve the sport. And we all know that we can improve the sport, and that is not to criticise any one individual or any one organisation.

"We the teams can do a better job, we can work together, and we can work with the governing body, we can work with the commercial rights holder, so we have got to make it better.

"It may be part of the problem in the situation that all of the parties feel that they can go their own way. If you follow that, you don't always get to a consensus quickly enough."

Although there had been initial hopes that the Concorde Agreement would be signed off this week, it is more likely that the matter will stretch on a little bit.

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen said: "Let us rather say within the next two weeks if everything runs according to plan, then it is certainly possible."

The discussions between the teams and CVC has also prompted fresh question marks about the future role of Bernie Ecclestone.

A report in The Sunday Telegraph suggested that senior figures from CVC met earlier this week to discuss the possibility of moving Ecclestone aside into an honorary role, having already decided to take the initiative in dealing with the teams.

shares
comments
Whitmarsh: Vatanen could boost F1
Previous article

Whitmarsh: Vatanen could boost F1

Next article

Loeb: No F1 switch during WRC season

Loeb: No F1 switch during WRC season
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023