DECEMBER 6, 2004
The teams, Bernie and the FIA
Bernie Ecclestone will have to use all his famed juggling skills in the months ahead as he has to keep not only the Formula 1 racing promoters happy but also try to win over the teams. This is not going to be easy as the major teams are currently allied under the GPWC banner and will remain so as long as Ferrari is in the GPWC camp. The current bickering over testing has conveniently split Ferrari from the other teams but it does not seem to have affected the relationship at GPWC level, where those involved are still claiming unity.
There is a team meeting today in London but Ferrari will not be attending, leaving the other nine teams to make whatever moves they wish to make. The other teams can win votes if they can get the F1 Commission together but FIA President Max Mosley cancelled the commission meeting due later this week, causing uproar amongst the teams. They must now decide on the best course of action and it may be that they will chose to go directly to the members of the FIA World Council to ask them to ensure that the FIA adheres to the Concorde Agreement, the terms of which, some claim, have been broken by Mosley's decision to cancel the meeting.
But, while some teams seem to think that the FIA is defending Ferrari, the fact is that Mosley's action may not stir up trouble. It remains to be seen whether anyone on the World Council has the gumption to question Mosley or whether they will tag along with what he does - as usually happens. Mosley did lose a vote in the World Council last summer and promptly announced that he was quitting his role as FIA President but the other FIA politicians were unable to come up with another candidate and so were forced to go to Mosley and beg him to return.
None of this added to the credibility of the federation. The one man who might lead a revolt is Jacques Regis, the president of the FFSA, the French national sporting authority, but it is worth noting that over the weekend Mosley attended the FFSA prizegiving ceremony at Disneyland Paris and was awarded a special "gold licence" for his services to the sport. This would seem to suggest that Regis is playing along with Mosley at the moment.
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