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OCTOBER 15, 2003

World Council to consider Formula 1 Commission proposals

The FIA World Motor Sport Council meets today in Paris to consider the proposals made by the F1 Commission. The changes to the Sporting Regulations are supposed to enhance the World Championship with a new format for race weekends, but details which have been leaked after the commission meeting have been met with considerable criticism because they will make Friday's redundant and will mean that qualifying will take place in a 90-minute session on Saturday, giving drivers two qualifying runs.

The World Council has the right to reject the new timetable if it chooses to do so and in that case the F1 Commission would need to come up with more suggestions within two weeks in order for them to be implemented next year.

If the World Council rejects the changes the commission can send them back a second time and the World Council must then accept them if there is a majority vote in the commission. However it is by no means certain that the changes proposed would have such support as many of the teams are against them.

It would be extremely rare, though not impossible, for the World Council to block a commission decision.

The World Council is also expected to confirm the Formula 1 calendar for next year. Bernie Ecclestone has been trying to convince teams to go to 18 races but they want $2m each to make the events worthwhile. It remains to be seen whether or not the Canadian GP is willing (or indeed able) to pay around $30m to get back its place on the F1 calendar.

There is a small chance that the French GP will be dropped but we would then expect there to be much negotiation before a final decision at the December World Council meeting.