Teams to Meet FIA to Unify Proposals

Formula One team chiefs will meet with FIA president Max Mosley on August 31st in a bid to align respective proposals for the future of the sport, McLaren boss Ron Dennis confirmed today

The group of nine team bosses plus five manufacturers, excluding Ferrari, met on Saturday afternoon to finalise their ideas for regulations in 2008.

And Dennis said: "The purpose of the meeting was to ensure we had consensus regarding the forthcoming meeting with the president of the FIA which is on August 31.

"It was a constructive, disciplined, agenda-driven meeting and from that will come our ability to discuss with Max Mosley the future of Grand Prix racing regarding sporting and technical regulations."

There has been constant conflict between the teams and Mosley in recent years, during which time they have threatened, in various guises, to create a breakaway series.

But with time pressures increasing the push for a consensus Dennis is confident the differing views between the group and the FIA president are merging towards a solution.

Mosley met Dennis, Toyota bosses John Howett and Tsutomo Tomita and BMW board member Burkhard Goeschel in Cannes in France on the Friday before the Hungarian Grand Prix.

And Dennis added: "Based on that meeting there doesn't seem to be a great deal many differing opinions as regards the future but it is early days and more difficult issues are perhaps yet to surface."

Dennis admitted, however, that while long-term talks are progressing, the opportunity to change qualifying significantly in time for next year has now almost certainly passed.

Teams have been pushing for a change in the qualifying format but conflicting opinions have slowed their progress and the sign-off point for their 2006 car designs has been and gone.

Dennis suggested that will have led teams to base their designs on the current format, which involved cars qualifying on race fuel levels, rather than the widely preferred low-fuel format.

And he added: "The challenge on qualifying is now being time driven more than anything else and to move towards a qualifying with no fuel is now virtually impossible.

"We have missed the point at which we could instruct our designers to design a car in respect of fuel tank capacity that would have the range that would be the result of qualifying with low fuel.

"There is a complete acceptance that we can improve qualifying but we have now moved beyond the point of time that we can qualifying with no fuel, that's where we are at.

"We are now going back to see how we can make it better. The real solution is the entire package of changes that are designed for 2008 and there is a desire to make it better.

"But my opinion is we have had some of the finest races this year of all seasons and part of the reason we have had those races is because of qualifying.

"I think we should be extremely careful that if we try to address the issues of qualifying we might destroy some of the ingredients which have led to great racing."

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