OCTOBER 20, 2007
The F1 teams begin to agree
The F1 team principals met on Saturday morning in Sao Paulo and we hear that there was significant progress in the much-discussed matter of customer cars. This is of key importance for two reasons: firstly because of the arbitration going on with regard to the use of customer cars by Scuderia Toro Rosso and Super Aguri F1. It will also open the way for the signing of a new Concorde Agreement to secure the long-term commercial future of the sport, locking all the major players into a long term relationship.
The compromise appears to centre of Toro Rosso and Super Aguri being allowed to run customer cars for two more seasons, during which they can build up the infrastructure necessary to become proper constructurs in 2010. This is a very expensive business but the manufacturers appear to have agreed to supply customer engines for around $10m, which will become much easier when the teams switch over to four-race engines. The teams are not interested in agreeing to a 10-year freeze on engine development.
In order for the customer teams to be allowed to run there must be some agreement on money although those involved in the talks are not keen to discuss the finances.
This is all very positive as the teams have been stuck for months on the question of what constitutes a constructor. It will also open the way for the sale of Toro Rosso and Super Aguri to new owners who are interested in putting in the funding needed to become proper constructors.