JUNE 7, 2006
Watch out for a technical squall!
The F1 Technical Commission meets today to discuss a raft of proposals about the technical regulations in 2008. In theory the proposals put forward will be put to the F1 Commission and the World Council but a recent meeting of the F1 Sporting Commission came up with proposals that were simply rejected out of hand by FIA President Max Mosley. They may eventually be rejected in a formal way by the various committees but this cannot be done until after the deadline for decisions for 2008, which is the end of June.
Renault boss Flavio Briatore has been pushing hard for decisions in recent weeks but sometimes it is necessary to work a little more slowly to get better results. Although Renault has got much of the credit for getting a commercial deal done, our sources say that the teams would not have gained as much if they had simply followed the proposals put forward by the French car manufacturer. Our sources say that it was BMW that insisted that the commercial rights holder paid the extra money to Ferrari rather than the teams having to do it; and that McLaren was largely responsible for arguing for a better deal on freight costs.
Thus careful negotiating won concessions for the teams and that is probably going to be the case again today as the meeting will discuss the chassis and aerodynamic rules for 2008 and interest will centre on the split rear wing that the FIA has proposed. Tests on this in the Casumaro windtunnel in Italy - which were watched by an FIA observer Nick Wirth - showed that the wing does not do what it is claimed to do and so there is likely to be lively discussion about this, not least because a split rear wing seriously affects the amount of space on the cars available for sponsorship.
It may be that further testing is needed before a decision can be made but in that case everyone must agree that they will accept the decisions after the June 30 deadline.
The FIA has scheduled a bunch of engineers for its press conference on Friday at Silverstone so obviously this is going to be the agenda for the next few days.
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