Honda website
Honda website

JUNE 29, 2004

F1 teams are moving towards a deal

The Formula 1 team bosses are working towards presenting Max Mosley with a workable set of proposals to bring down the lap times so that he will not have to force them to accept changes. As we understand it there are now only two sticking points: engines and tyres. The engine problem is simply because BMW is not in favour of switching away from the 3-litre V10 format. In order for this to be changed there has to be unanimous agreement because the formula is written into the Concorde Agreement, thus leaving no room for alternatives. This does not mean that the V10s cannot be restricted but the argument is that the rules must leave some elements of technical freedom in order for car manufacturers to agree to be part of the sport. There are some (notably Bernie Ecclestone) who argue that if the marketing tool provided by F1 is strong enough, the car companies will be in the sport no matter what the rules say but this theory does not work with companies like Honda and BMW which also seek to use F1 as a technical challenge for its engineers.

"Moving too close to a uniform engine is very dangerous," said one team boss. "Car manufacturers need to be able to use the sport to differentiate between themselves and their rivals in the market place."

Max Mosley continues to push for a switch to V8 engines and most of the engine companies have agreed (some under duress) that they would accept that. BMW will not agree. Efforts have been made to agree a restricted V10 formula on the understanding that the engine companies agree to provide engines for the smaller teams and it may be that this will provide the result needed.

The question of tyres is proving more difficult because some teams are refusing to reduce their tesing beyond a certain point (believed to be 50 team, ie two car, days in the summer months). This is a slight reduction on current levels but not enough to make a huge budgetary difference. Everyone accepts that a compromise is needed on testing before the tyre issue can be resolved.