Honda website
Honda website

MARCH 5, 2009

FOTA plans for the future

The FOTA press conference in Geneva may be viewed as an historical event in the longer term, but the actual details of what was said was not really extraordinary. FOTA president Luca di Montezemolo said that all teams are prepared to commit to signing a new Concorde Agreement, locking them into Formula 1 until the end of 2012, but it was clear that after that there will need to be concessions by the Formula One group. The FOTA presentation made the point again, although is a suitably subtle way that there will need to be "an appropriate balance between revenue and costs" after 2012.

FOTA gave details of the survey to see what people want from F1.

"There was some degree of interest in allowing luck to play a part in shaping the starting order, but the general sentiment was that the fastest driver should always start from pole," FOTA revealed.

Teams agreed new restrictions on testing, and that starting fuel loads, tyre specifications and re-fuelling data should all to be made available to the public before a race. Grands Prix may also be shortened so that they run for a maximum of 1h40m rather than the current two hours. The survey suggested that there was no need to get into handicapping, sprint races, reversed grids or one-on-one pursuit races. Formula 1 audiences appreciate the traditional values of the sport and are not interested in dumbing down the format. Pit stops are regarded as part of the circus but strategies are not thought to be that important. Audiences are unlikely to drop if refuelling is axed, while tyre changes are seen as important moments of competition.

In the overall scheme of things, however, the survey revealed that there is not much wrong with F1 as it is.