DECEMBER 21, 2004
How did Max Mosley convince the manufacturers to back down?
The most sought-after document at the moment is the minutes of the meeting between FIA President Max Mosley and the representatives of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Honda when they met recently in Monaco to discuss the question of arbitration. The three firms were threatening to take the FIA to the International Chamber of Commerce because it had broken commitments in the Concorde Agreement which should have seen Formula 1 running to 3-litre V10 rules until the end of the current agreement. There is no question that the FIA agreed to such a deal but decided to change the regulations nonetheless. Mosley has dismissed the challenge as "footling" but the three car companies had seemed intent on going ahead, if only to show the FIA President that if should stick to commitments he had made. Logically, the companies had much to lose because moving ahead with the arbitration would mean that they would have to develop their V10 engines but at the same time could not run the risk of losing and so would have to build and develop V8s as well. This was going to be very expensive. They knew also that pushing ahead with the action would lead to strains between them and the other manufacturers which had fallen into line with Mosley's wishes and begun work on V8 engines.
But, even so, the three companies seemed intent on pushing ahead until the meeting with Mosley in Monaco and there are many who would now like to see how it was that Mosley pulled off this particular coup. For the moment the manufacturers involved are not giving anything away but it is hard to imagine that Mosley offered them any concessions in which case he must have had some very good arguments to convince them to back off.
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