Honda F1 website

AUGUST 31, 2004

Arbitration beckons

There were several meetings at Spa involving parties who are interested in stopping the FIA from imposing new engine rules before the end of the Concorde Agreement in 2007. There are several teams who do not want the planned 2.4-litre V8 formula are argue that it is not in the best interests of Formula 1. The teams are in a position of power as there must be 100% agreement in order for a change to be made to the engine rules because there is a specific clause in the Concorde Agreement which states that Formula 1 will be run for 3-litre V10s until the end of the agreement. In addition FIA President Max Mosley gave specific written assurances to Williams and McLaren last year when he was trying to settle a previous dispute which the two teams were threatening to take to arbitration. If the case does go ahead, therefore, the teams have a strong legal case.

It is believed that in order to meet the demands of the FIA in terms of safety the teams are understood to be formulating ways in which horsepower figures can be reduced without enormous extra cost, although it is not clear how this will be achieved. The teams are also opposed to the idea of engines having to last for two Grands Prix because of the problem of penalties being carried forward for more than one event.

At the moment it seems that BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Honda are in agreement on a compromise and Toyota is also involved in talks but, as a relative new team, is keen to stay aloof of F1 politicking.

If the FIA does go to arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland, a defeat would be a major blow for the federation's current management and some of the teams appear to think that it would force FIA President Max Mosley to resign. They are, therefore, hoping that Mosley will back down and accept that the sport must retain the V10 formula to which they have all committed.