Honda website
Honda website

APRIL 5, 2006

No meeting on April 10

The various Formula 1 teams - quasi or otherwise - were due to meet with the FIA at the Heathrow Hilton on April 10. It was never really clear what the meeting was going to be about, apart from showing that there were 22 representatives present and that, as a result of this, the sport could go on without the manufacturers if that was necessary.

The reality, of course, was that the majority of the 22 "teams" were largely speculative in nature. Some of those who put in entries do not even own a racing team, others have the hardware to run GP2 teams but the key issue is whether any of them have budgets (or the potential to get them) for 2008. There may be one or two serious contenders at most.

The FIA is to decide who gets the entries based on who has the best qualifications and it will be interesting to see who is picked. The reality is that almost certainly all the existing teams will remain involved because F1 is their business. The important point in the entry process is that it is a form of commitment from the supposedly rebel teams. For the teams vying for the final available "franchise" the commitment is minimal as most are well aware that they will not be chosen and if they are would probably sell the franchise rather than try to run the team. The actual wording of the entry document says that a team undertakes "to participate in each and every event" in the 2008 World Championship and agree to be bound by the provisions of the International Sporting Code, the 2008 Formula 1 Technical Regulations and the 2008 Formula 1 Sporting Regulations. In addition there was an undertaking to pay the entry fee no later than November 1 2007.

There is nothing in this that would stop a manufacturer selling the team for $1 at a later stage and leaving the sport.

Now it seems that the meeting has been cancelled, which suggests that the negotiations are moving forward to find a deal which everyone can sign up to, without bringing the whole thing into the public domain until the deals are done and dusted.

Officially, the meeting has been cancelled because not everyone is available on that day.