In the latest round of 'negotiations' between the FIA and the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association (GPMA), President Max Mosley has urged the car maker teams to sign up to F1 from 2008 or risk losing their places on the grid. The GPMA --...
In the latest round of 'negotiations' between the FIA and the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association (GPMA), President Max Mosley has urged the car maker teams to sign up to F1 from 2008 or risk losing their places on the grid. The GPMA -- Mercedes, Renault, Honda, Toyota and BMW -- have so far resisted accepting the extension of the Concorde Agreement from 2008 to 2012 but it appears that Mosley is getting impatient.
Ferrari, Williams, MF1, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and reportedly new outfit Super Aguri have signed on the dotted line to continue in F1 from 2008 and Mosley is leaving a narrow window of opportunity for the others to join in. 12 teams is the limit the FIA is willing to accept and Mosley is aiming for a 10 day period in which to accept entries.
A World Motor Sport Council meeting is scheduled for March 22nd and the following day entries for the 2008 championship will be open. "We are going to stick to 12 teams because of safety and all the pits now are arranged for 12," Mosley told reporters at a pre-season event.
"There are six (teams) in there, there are three, possibly four, people talking about entering and there are five GPMA teams. It makes sense to open entries soon and then to close them again quickly. Then we can discuss with the people that have entered refinements to the regulations before the deadline of the end of June."
Mosley believes that the so-called 'rebel' teams will sign up. "The regulations for entry are identical to the present day except that we have deleted the $48million bond," he added. "We would look at their factory, their business and be satisfied that they are capable of doing what we wanted."
"It would not surprise me to see some defections (from the GPMA) next month when we open the entries. I hope everybody will be sensible and see these are sensible rules and everyone will enter. I have got a real determination to see this through. I honestly believe that if F1 is to prosper then we have got to get the costs down so that the independent teams can survive."
Mosley's ideas for helping the independent teams include not giving the manufacturer outfits any income from F1 revenue, to which the GPMA expressed 'surprise'. The FIA is a regulatory body and as such does not have a say in the commercial side of the sport but Mosley argued the point that although the FIA should not profit, it has a right to make its own suggestions.
How this latest suggestion -- or perhaps threat -- of giving the GPMA a narrow window to sign up will be received is yet to be seen. Entries for the championship are usually open in November of the previous season so a two-year head start on 2008 is a bit of a slap in the face. Will the GPMA fall in line or slap back?