FIA article 66: Unanimous agreement

FIAA letter,according to Autosport, was sent to FOTA members that restated Article 66 of the International Sporting Code:

Article 66 of the International Sporting Code states that: “No amendments shall be made to the Supplementary Regulations after the beginning of the period for receiving entries, unless unanimous agreement is given by all competitors already entered, or by decision of the stewards of the meeting for reasons of force majeure or safety (see Article 141).”

The intention of this letter is to relate the legal process of changing the rules for the 2010 season. FIA president Max Mosley has clearly stated that he will require that article 66 ISC is sated prior to making any changes to the regulations for 2010.

You may ask yourself why the changes for 2010 that FOTA and the FIA agreed to in a meeting in June require unanimous consent from all FOTA and non-FOTA teams. You may suggest that Mosley was changing the rules at his whim without the unanimous consent of the teams when he developed the 2010 regulations. That would be a good point but the answer to that question is buried in article 66. Specifically this line, “after the beginning of the period for receiving entries”.

The period specified is the time after the entry applications were being accepted so this would preclude Mosley from need unanimous consent while developing the regulations back in March or earlier.

How will FOTA receive this call for unanimity with non-FOTA members of which 2/3’s of them are entering F1 purely due to the attractive budget cap regulation? That remains to be seen but what we do know is that John Booth, Manor Motorsports team boss, said the budget cap was the main reason they chose to enter F1 and it would be difficult to comment on the situation until he knows what the glide-path cost reduction amount will be. Specifically the 1990’s level spending.

Mosley knows that the Williams F1 and Force India teams brok ranks with FOTA and applied unconditionally for the 2010 season. He also knows that by demanding unanimity under article 66 will present FOTA with an issue of two groups needing to agree. Two groups who have different opinions on the regulations. In this authors opinion, it is another effort by Mosley to upset the unity of FOTA and use legal process to stir unrest among the teams.

Will this article 66 gambit work? After what we have seen so far this year, I am inclined to say no. The concept of a FOTA breakaway series is not dead and while the reality becomes all the more unbeilivable the longer Mosley drags the process out, I would suggest that FOTA knows this and knows a drop dead date that they need this issue resolved. My hunch? The end of July.

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