Team meeting now on...

THE Formula 1 team bosses gathered this morning in London for what was expected to be a long and fairly intense meeting to sort out some of the matters of the moment in Formula 1 circles. Since their recent meeting in Austria the team bosses have been trying to present a more united and positive front to the world (although one or two of them cannot help themselves from slagging one another off). The major problem in the short-term is the clash over the TV money which Minardi claims it should have. The issue has reached a point at which Minardi boss Paul Stoddart is saying that the team will have to close if he does not get the money. No-one really wants to see that happen as Minardi is a strong and popular F1 brand, personifying the underdog battling against the big combines. As a marketing tool, Minardi has great value to F1 and should not be thrown away because of squalid disputes over money.

The other issues which will come under discussion are how best to solve the current problem with the automobile manufacturers, who are threatening to start their own series and so disrupting sponsorship negotiations.

There are also questions over what the best rules are for the future and there will, no doubt, be discussions about FIA President Max Mosley's proposals which would introduce a manufacturers' championship, to encourage the carmakers to supply more than one team; to allow chassis technology to be sold and to reduce testing by offering teams an incentive at races if they do not test.

The aim of the meeting is to come away with proposals for the World Motor Sport Council to consider at its meeting in Paris next week. If there is no agreement between the teams there would then need to be a Formula 1 Commission meeting to vote through items between now and the World Council in two weeks from now. The F1 Commission could meet at the Nurburgring if necessary.

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