JULY 30, 2005

Deal making in Cannes

The meeting between the F1 manufacturers and FIA President Max Mosley in Cannes yesterday appears to have resulted in the FIA accepting all of the technical and sporting proposals put forward by the teams, but we hear that the federation is baulking at some of the legal questions which have been raised by the proposals, notably the control of the rule-making process and the way in which the FIA Court of Appeal system operates.

There are other minor disagreements over press credentials but otherwise it seems that progress has definitely been made. However, Mosley is said to be adamant that he will not back down on the legal questions because it will undermine the power of the FIA and it is his job to defend that position.

The teams may now agree to accept the situation because there are signs that the Court of Appeal is being overhauled and there are even hints that the corps of F1 stewards is beginning to change with new names appearing in recent races. This may just be a coincidence but it is something that will do no harm at all as the sport moves towards finding a solution to the problems that have beset F1 this year.

If all of this can be agreed before the FIA election in October, we believe that we may see a situation in which Mosley decides that he has done what he set out to do and does not seek re-election. There are still no hints as to who might replace him but we have heard whispers of FIA politicians, other than the obvious names, thinking about a challenge.

If all this happens the only problem left is for a deal to be cut between the teams and the banks over the commercial structure of the sport.