Mosley pushes for 2006 change

Formula 1 teams have been urged to be positive and support the dramatic cost-cutting changes needed to save the sport from possible self-destruction after being given official notification of radical plans by FIA president Max Mosley, autosport.com can reveal

Mosley pushes for 2006 change

With Mosley pushing for a major regulation overhaul after next season, the teams have been informed of the new rules he wants to bring in. Under the sport's statutes, teams had to issued with notice of the changes by next month if they were to be implemented by the start of 2006.

"According to the Sporting Code, if we want radical change for 2006, we've got to announce it by October of this year and the letters only went out a few days ago," said Mosley at the Chinese Grand Prix. His plans will require a majority support from the Formula 1 Commission if they are to be made reality.

Mosley is adamant that spiralling costs have put F1 in danger and that the sport must not depend on major manufacturers for its future well-being. With the threat of a breakaway manufacturer-led Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC) series, however, some accuse Mosley of blaming the car makers for a situation largely caused by an unfair distribution of revenues within F1.

Mosley refutes those suggestions, even though the 10 teams share just 23% of the revenues generated by TV rights, promoters' fees and advertising/hospitality. The bulk goes to Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Management company.

"They (the teams) might have a point, but that is between them and Bernie (F1's commercial rights holder)," says Mosley. "It's nothing to do with me. They signed up to the 1998 Concorde Agreement and I didn't tell them to. If they feel they want a better deal at the end of the existing agreement, in 2007, then it's up to them to negotiate one."

He adds: "You cannot rely on the major manufacturers. If you do, you are dreaming."

He cites the example of the electronics in F1 when, last year, the FIA said it would allow traction control to stay (because the manufacturers claimed it would be expensive to remove) if they then used the cost saving to supply engines to independent teams. "We kept our part of the bargain, but they didn't," he said.

Mosley estimates that Formula 1 could run in a form indistinguishable from today at between 25% and 50% of the present budget levels.

"Of the 200 million Euros that engine manufacturers are spending, half of that is spent on exotic materials which no-one knows about except a tiny priesthood of engineers who are in paradise with a huge budget," he claims.

"The simple fact is that F1 is spending more money than it is receiving and is completely dependent on manufacturers subsidising it. Without them it wouldn't be able to continue like it is at present.

"The manufacturers are going to realise that they are spending more money than can be justified to shareholders and, on that basis, one-by-one, they will stop racing. It's absolutely inevitable. A 200 million Euro spend on an engine programme is not justifiable or sustainable unless they were winning all the races."

The other major gripe among the teams and manufacturers are the constraints that the current Concorde Agreement places on the F1 regulatory process, making progress all but impossible without unanimous agreement, which is never forthcoming.

Mosley was happy to concede that Concorde is a problem. Ironically, the FIA president himself was largely responsible for it when he penned the original a quarter of a century ago while assisting Ecclestone on behalf of the teams in negotiations with the governing body.

Back then, Mosley pointed out, "the governing body was out of touch with F1, didn't consult, and didn't have the expertise to consult. They didn't have the experts that we've got at our disposal now."

Hence, he said, the notification that he has just sent out seeking rapid consultation in time for 2006. He hinted that the way forward was no new Concorde Agreement and a sport run via technical regulations and a sporting code imposed by the governing body after consultation and free collective bargaining. The reaction, remains to be seen.

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