The FIA says an agreement is close...

The FIA says that a final draft of a new Concorde Agreement is close and will be ready for signature in the next few days.

The federation says that the FOTA teams knew in advance that any amendments to the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship regulations were subject to the unanimous approval of the five teams that had already entered for next season under the rules as published, which meant that they were always going to be observers in any talks. FOTA seems not to have been aware of this.

"To suggest that FOTA were only made aware of this during the meetings of yesterday is quite simply untrue," the FIA said in a statement. "So is the implicit claim that they were all unaware of one of motor sport’s basic principles."

The five entered teams were able to confirm the changes agreed by the World Council in Paris on June 24.

The FIA went on to explain that the basis of the FIA agreeing to drop plans for a cost cap was a proposal prepared by the Williams team during the British GP weekend which aimed to reach an agreed reduction of expenditure to the level of the early 1990s by the end of 2011 to be dealt with by the teams themselves. This reduction was agreed by FOTA and confirmed by them in Paris on June 24. This would be a private, legally-enforceable contract involving all the teams, but not the FIA. The FIA confirmed in Paris that once this agreement is in place, the cost cap provisions can be removed from the 2010 Sporting Regulations.

The deal that the FIA reached with FOTA in Paris was to extend the 1998 Concorde Agreement with some minor amendments to the governance section. This would have put in place an F1 Commission to deal with future rules with any major question going to the FIA Senate.

However, on June 25, instead of the 1998 Agreement with some minor amendments, the FIA received 350 pages which it says was "a completely new Concorde Agreement". The FIA says it was "wholly impractical" to involve the Senate in such detailed negotiations, so the contract was handed over to FIA lawyers, who reported back to Mosley on June 29. The FIA then said that a new version appeared a few after that. This was analysed and further drafts were prepared and the FIA thinks that "significant progress" was made yesterday.

Time will tell.

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