New judges for the International Court of Appeal

The Motor Sports Association, governing body of motor sport in the UK, is proposing two new judges for the FIA's International Court of Appeal, following Graham Stoker's election to the FIA World Motor Sport Council. The new UK judges will be Anthony Scrivener QC and Edwin Glasgow QC. Both are leading barristers, acknowledged sports law experts and stewards of the RAC, as well as being long standing motor sport enthusiasts. We hear, incidentally, that there will also be a new high profile judge from the United States of America. It does not take a rocket scientist to work out that these moves may be part of a move by the FIA to find a way to settle its differences with the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association.

It is worth noting that the GPMA has reacted to the news that Williams has signed the Concorde Agreement by reaffirming that its five members have a binding agreement to race together only in a series which satisfies the fundamental principles of a clear and equitable World Championship.

The GPMA admitted in a statement that "GPMA members and their affiliated teams appreciate that progress has been made in recent negotiations, they remain committed to their objective to further develop the sport for the benefit of all stakeholders and in particular the fans."

Reading between the lines, however, it is fair to say that the binding agreement, which runs until September next year, does not stop them all racing in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in the future if the right compromises can be struck.

There are still some areas where some pushing and shoving is going on but it is fair to say that the latest offer from Formula One Management is very sensible and the FIA has softened its line. In his announcement that he had signed the Concorde Agreement Sir Frank Williams praised the manufacturers for their work in getting a better deal for the teams.

"The manufacturers and teams have been a catalyst for a number of far reaching changes to the economics and administration of Formula 1," he said. "We believe that the time has now come for everybody to remove the damaging uncertainty hanging over our sport and to commit to Formula 1 after 2008. I hope our decision will encourage the remainder of the Formula 1 community to join us and resolve any final details by working together. We all have a duty to avoid a damaging split in our sport and I believe the undertakings we have from FOM and the FIA provide a fair basis for bringing everyone together in the interests of the sport."

Let us hope that all those involved see the logic in working together and stop tearing the sport apart.

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