Howett: FIA vital for new Concorde

The FIA's involvement in a new Concorde Agreement is vital to the framing of a new document between the teams and the sport's chiefs, claims Toyota racing president John Howett

Howett: FIA vital for new Concorde

Discussions to try and put together a binding contract for Formula One are continuing in the Montreal paddock on Saturday morning, with Howett making it clear that the biggest challenge to the direction of the discussions is not getting the teams to agree on a way forward, but where the FIA fits into those plans.

FIA president Max Mosley revealed recently that the governing body would only get involved if the Concorde Agreement reinforced the FIA's authority and also helped improve the financial situation of the teams.

Such a move does not fit in with some teams' desire to have a say in technical regulations, and would not be particularly welcome for commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone, who would have to pay even more to the teams.

It means any bid to try and get the FIA on board will need compromises on all fronts - something that Howett thinks is unlikely to be achieved in the short term.

"Bernie said we have to sign a tripartite agreement," explained Howett. "The financial agreement is more or less fixed together with Bernie. The question is other issues - and one can say the FIA has to be involved.

"The teams generally would like a Concorde, and the question is how it is achieved and how far it goes.

"We are working on it and now the challenge is the next phase, which is whether or not the FIA feels it needs to sign it or not, and whether it is in the best interests of the sport or not. I guess it will be a discussion that continues for some time."

Howett played down rumours of a breakaway championship being put together, even though some teams are considering all options at the moment in light of the situation between Ecclestone and Mosley.

When asked if the breakaway talk was genuine, Howett said: "I don't really think so. Some people mentioned that, but it was part of the general rabble of discussion. The general view is not. I think we just have to consolidate a Concorde."

Howett suggested that if matters reached a head and some teams considered a breakaway championship, Toyota would be unlikely to join.

"I think when you look from the outside at people who have broken away, it doesn't work. The successful series are those where the manufacturers remain and there is one series.

"As soon as you divide, then both series suffer. We need to consolidate the previous Concorde Agreement in a modern, clean and fresh way."

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