The return of the F1 Commission

The Formula 1 Commission has not met since June 28 2004. A meeting was planned for December last year but was called off, apparently in order to stop nine of the 10 teams from forcing through rules for a control tyre and a restriction of testing, which had been agreed between them in Brazil. The cancellation of the December meeting caused uproar in F1 circles and helped to harden attitudes towards the FIA. The only team opposed to the idea was Ferrari and there were, not unnaturally, a number of suggestions that the FIA was favouring Ferrari. This may not have been the real story. The FIA was not keen to have the rules made by the teams and, perhaps, if rumours are to be believed, the FIA President did not want to go into the commission and face open revolt. We will never know if that was a real possibility because there has not been a commission meeting since, despite the fact that, for a time, the FIA was calling for teams to attend its meetings but vehemently refused to call the commission.

However with pressure growing to change the qualifying regulations for 2006 - because the current format is a disaster - an F1 Commission has been called for October 24, three days before the planned World Council meeting in Rome and four days before the FIA General Assembly meets to elect the FIA President for a new four-year term and confirm the decisions of the World Council for the last 12 months. In order to change the rules for next year an agreement must be made by November 1. After that agreements must be unanimous (which is impossible to achieve).

The problem for the FIA is that Paul Stoddart remains the Minardi team principal until November 1 and so he will attend the commission meeting and may wish to do something about some of the things that have been happening in the last 16 months. This could create fireworks and with the manufacturers trying to pressure the FIA to change some of its attitudes they might support the Australian and try to embarrass the FIA President in the run-up to the election. It is unlikely to make much difference because of the docile nature of opposition to Mosley within the FIA but a week is a long time in politics and the argument may be that nothing ventured is nothing gained. One way or another the F1 Commission is sure to be newsworthy.

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