JANUARY 26, 2005
Do the teams have to turn up on Friday?
The meeting planned by FIA President Max Mosley has no official status in F1 decision-making. It was designed as a chance to discuss the future and the team's response to Mosley's proposals, asking for the meeting to be delayed several months, is entirely logical. If Mosley wants market research done about the World Championship it is sensible to wait until that has happened before making any decisions which will affect the longterm future of the sport.
The only body that has the power to make decisions about Forrmula 1 - at least according to the Concorde Agreement - is the Formula 1 Commission. The rules state that this body will meet "on a regular basis" and will decide on the matters of the moment. Its decisions then go to the FIA World Motor Sport Council and, theoretically at least, are confirmed by the FIA General Assembly at its annual meeting.
If Mosley wants to hold formal discussions about the future he must do so through an F1 Commission meeting. The last time there was one of those was on June 28 2004, nearly seven months ago, Mosley cancelled a planned meeting in December.
The F1 Commission is chaired by Bernie Ecclestone with Mosley as his deputy and consists of 26 votes but, at the moment, only 24 members. The discrepancy has been caused by the fact that there are only 10 teams operating whle the Concorde Agreement allows for 12. The team vote, however, goes with the majority so if six teams agree on something that counts for 12 votes on the Commission. The other members of the Commission are eight promoters (four from Europe and four from outside Europe), two sponsors (currently ExxonMobil and Marlboro), one tyre representative (currently Bridgestone) and one engine company (currently Cosworth). The other two members are the FIA president and the commercial rights holder.
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