For some time the possibility of a manufacturers' rival series to Formula One come 2008, when the current Concorde Agreement expires, has been a topic of discussion but it seems the breakaway threat is less likely now. Renault team president...
For some time the possibility of a manufacturers' rival series to Formula One come 2008, when the current Concorde Agreement expires, has been a topic of discussion but it seems the breakaway threat is less likely now. Renault team president Patrick Faure believes that talks could lead to a unified F1 in the not-too-far distant future.
"When you see in which direction we are going as far as the rules are concerned and as far as the discussions with the owners of Formula One, I really think we can be more optimistic than we could have been six months or a year ago," Faure said at the launch of the R26 in Monaco this week.
An agreement may even be reached before the 2006 season kicks off in Bahrain on March 12th. "It's not impossible," Faure remarked in regard to that possible scenario. "We have moved forward in many directions. It seems that now everybody is conscious that a good compromise from all would be a good solution for the future of Formula One."
The manufacturers' group, which has been through a couple of incarnations, is currently the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association (GPMA), which was formed in May 2005 and consists of Renault, BMW, Mercedes, Honda and Toyota. The group is reported to have recently met with Bernie Ecclestone to continue discussions.
Frank Williams, eponymous boss of the team that joined ranks with Ferrari, Midland and Red Bull in signing the extension to the Concorde Agreement, also believes peace could be on the horizon. Speaking at the launch of the Williams FW28 at the team's Grove base last week, Williams was asked if he thought other teams would sign up to F1.
"My opinion is I would think so," he commented. "There is less noise and chatter and I don't mean that unkindly, but I am aware of less chatter than three months ago or six months. There is a little belligerence from one or two of the usual quarters but I think they will get together soon and sign up."