Teams to meet in Paris, decide future of F1

The teams are said to be seeking a meeting later this month to hammer out details on the new Concorde Agreement. According to AUTOSPORT, the issues that remain are:

  • The inclusion of only six teams on a new Formula 1 Commission
  • The rising cost of entry fees
  • The FIA’s guarantee of a Resource Restriction Agreement to be in place for 2014
  • The 2013 sporting regulations topic of  ‘listed parts’ that could signal a semi-return to customer cars

The issues at hand are all in addition to the commercial and financial points which have all been agreed to in principle according. The issue of customer cars is intriguing as the new engine regulations have the smaller teams concerned about their ability to remain in the sport beyond 2014 and HRT’s team boss, Luis Perez-Sala, is certainly concerned about the rising costs and even advocating the Customer Car scenario:

“From my point of view it’s a good idea if a small team manages to have at its disposal a better car than what it could build without spending more, or maybe by even saving something,” he explained to Autosprint.

“It could cost less, since we are talking about car and parts already built, so without extra design and building costs, but it still depends on the price set on these things.”

If you consider that HRT’s engine budget represent 20% of their total budget, then any increase in that cost will wreak havoc on car development. The challenge is to either get more manufacturers in the sport or more privateers but if you can’t do either, then maybe a customer car scenario (such as we had several years ago with March Engineering) might be a logical choice. The issue could be that if you were Williams or Sauber or Lotus, would any other smaller teams buy your cars or would they buy McLaren’s and Red Bulls? If they purchased the top teams cars, then the midfield might as well too and that doesn’t work. So what is the answer? What do you think about the customer cars?

Also, how do you feel about the RRA? Should the FIA muddy the waters of the Concorde Agreement process with a bloated oversight program that is really only attempting to reign in one teams perceived expenditure on their program? I’m not picking on red Bull as I am sure small teams wonder how much money McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull and MErcedes are spending but what is the right approach to keeping costs down? I’d suggest stopping the V6 Turbo engine format but that horse might have already run.

Finally, do you feel 6 teams on the F1 commission is correct? You have to consider that having all teams presence reduces the likelihood that anything will get done…look at the RRA under FOTA’s control.

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