MARCH 1, 2006
Mosley's entry list
The FIA President Max Mosley says that the entry list for the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship will close at the end of March so that teams involved will have the chance to be part of discussions to fine-tune the regulations before June 30 2006 when they will be set in stone. Only those teams which intend to compete will be allowed to take part in this process.
This is all well and good and Mosley is obviously confident that the current GPMA teams will agree to join in. We hear that the manufacturers had a meeting with Bernie Ecclestone at the weekend and that a commercial deal is virtually completed but there are still questions as to whether or not the manufacturers are willing to accept the way the sport is run by the FIA. It is true that the FIA has the right to make its own rules and that teams can take it or leave it, but the fact remains that if the federation does not pull in the big teams, its championship will suffer for it. And it cannot easily stop a rival championship.
The big question, however, is what happens if on March 31 Mosley has only six teams entering the 2008 World Championship? It is always possible for the entry to be padded out with teams that might one day move into F1 but at the same time there is no reason why the teams that have signed up to the extension of the Concorde Agreement should accept an entry made up of teams that have no track record in F1.
It is also worth noting by the way that there are rumours that Pepsi-Cola has made a major bid for Red Bull. We believe that the deal on the table is worth $7.6bn to Red Bull but we also hear that one of the conditions is that the Austrian company stops all of its motorsport involvement. Our spies say that Mateschitz's Asian partner Chaleo Yoovidhya is in favour of the deal. Mateschitz and Yoovidhya both own 49% of the business with the remaining two percent held in trust. The company recently announced that it had sales of $2.6bn in 2005, an increase of 28.9% over 2004. In the circumstances, given the margins involved, $7.6bn is not a huge offer. As the owner of two F1 teams, the future of Red Bull in the sport is fairly crucial.
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