Stoddart: New Rules will be 'Fast-Tracked'

Plans by several teams to agree on a new set of Formula One regulations from the start of 2008 are set to be fast-tracked as the battle between the outfits and the FIA over the future of the sport took another twist at Imola on Friday

Stoddart: New Rules will be 'Fast-Tracked'

Following the announcement last week that the FIA plan to finalise the 2008 F1 regulations no later than May 27, following the refusal of every team other than Ferrari, Jordan and Red Bull Racing to join the discussions, the so-called 'Group of Seven' met at Imola on Friday to talk about their plan of action.

The teams are in discussions with the manufacturers planning a breakaway series and have set up several think tank groups to consider new regulations. These groups had planned to agree on their rules framework by August.

Although no formal announcement has been made about the outcome of the meeting, group spokesman Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has claimed that the teams are now considering bringing forward the date by when they hope to get their own regulations sorted.

"We have decided to ramp up our speed at which we are going to produce our regulations and try and fast-track it a little bit," he said. "Most of us just put Max's press statement (detailing the May 27 deadline) in the shredder - it has no legal bearing.

"So what we want to do is see if we can bring our date forward from August or whether we should just say 'no, this is too important.' We are working with four working groups towards an ending. We are not intimidated in the slightest by Max's press statement."

Stoddart has also suggested that Formula One's political troubles would be solved immediately if FIA president Max Mosley resigned from his role.

On the back of further friction between the 'Group of Seven' teams planning their own regulations for 2008 and the FIA, Stoddart has shown no sign of softening his belief that the sport is being damaged by Mosley's presidency.

Speaking after the Group of Seven meeting, Stoddart said: "If Max resigned tomorrow you would have harmony in Formula One instantly, amongst everyone, and we all know that. The problem is not the FIA, it is not Bernie, the problem is Max.

"The teams and manufacturers don't have a problem with the FIA, all they have wanted is independent governance, a  referee, we want stable technical regulations but we are not getting them, so we think the FIA should administer the regulations but not make them. It is very simple. "

Stoddart has acted as the spokesman for the teams ever since the recent friction with the FIA began earlier this year. And although Red Bull Racing and Jordan have appeared to break ranks and show some willingness for dialogue with the FIA, the other seven teams are remaining unified so far.

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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