Honda website
Honda website

JUNE 22, 2006

Yes, Formula 1 is still fighting (but it is now doing it quietly)

The Formula 1 Sporting Working Group is, according to the FIA regulations for 2008, the body that decides the sporting rules. Its proposals go to the F1 Commission and then on to the FIA World Council to be rubber-stamped. These two bodies can reject proposals that they do not like but they do have to meet in order to do that - and neither has yet met since the recent Sporting Working Group meeting which proposed - by a majority vote - that the engine homologation rules be scrapped. After that FIA President Max Mosley issued a diktat saying that the proposal was rejected - although it is not clear how he had the right to do this, based on the powers than exist in the published rules and regulations.

We hear that today's meeting on the Sporting Working Group - which began at 3pm Montreal time - was due to discuss the engine question again, although we have also heard that the FIA has refused to put the matter on the agenda.

This is important because if there are no decisions made by June 30, it will take unanimous agreement to change anything for 2008. At the moment it seems that eight of the 12 teams want to reject the engine homologation rules, which is enough to stop them happening.

If the structure that has been created is undermined by being ignored by the federation one can only wonder what future there is for such a system. There is either a fair and democratic process or there is a dictatorship. If the FIA wants to run things in an autocratic manner, then it is a question of whether the competitors involved decide to do anything about it - as they have the right to do under European law.

This is all irrelevant unless someone does more than grumble about it and get legal advice from eminent QCs. If there is a bona fide complaint then someone has to stand up and be counted.

With the hours ticking away the time for a decision is coming. The manufacturers are going to have to stand up - or shut up.

The FIA is clearly confident that the car makers will never get together and fight.