Honda website
Honda website

JULY 29, 2006

A letter from Le President

FIA President Max Mosley has written to all the Formula 1 team principals about the ongoing situation over engines in 2007. Mosley wrote that "GPMA members, perhaps understandably, did not want to fund any engine supplier linked to another car manufacturer, but competition law experts advised that such a restriction could be unlawful".

Mosley is thus saying the FIA is going ahead with what he wants with 2008 engines being those that have been frozen on June 1 2006. However, there is a modification to this in that he is now willing to allow teams to adapt their engines for a 19,000rpm limit. Mosley is still hoping that the teams will accept these limits for 2007 but the indications are that they will not and the FIA's move to impose this solution on them threatens to create a situation in which the teams will go to arbitration because the FIA's move to push things through on the grounds of safety is considered to be unjustifiable.

Arbitration is a lengthy process but if it commences soon, it would be done by the start of next year. The fact is that if teams do go to arbitration they will all have to continue engine development in case they do win the case so the development work will be done one way or the other and there is little point in the FIA fighting it.

Mosley continues to argue that the way forward is to stabilise the cars with the same kind of performance and then open up new hybrid areas to create differences. The problem with this theory is that the seasons before the new technology is introduced could be very dull. There are also questions about whether hybrid push-to-pass technology will really help the show because in America the push-to-pass buttons have not much improved the racing.

The key issue in all of this is whether or not the new technologies will be enough to maintain technical interest in the sport. The FIA survey showed conclusively that the fans see technology as a key issue in the sport and so it is important that the federation gets it right first time.