So, the FIA, team’s representatives and Bernie Ecclestone had a soiree in Paris to discuss the future of Formula One. The outcome is that a new Concorde Agreement is – at least – some weeks away. What a surprise! Bringing such a group together was not really conducive to an agreement, was it?
Of course, we can all see that some things have to be agreed upon – the teams are concerned about the proposed increase in entry fees, the current round of cost control proposals, and the question of who runs the sport in the future – but surely a decision has to be made, and that decision should be by the governing body?
The FIA is ably run by President Jean Todt who – quite rightly – has dismissed suggestions by his predecessor, Max Mosley, that he adopt a more ‘dictatorial’ role. Given Mosley’s past exploits that is a suggestion that could be misinterpreted. Todt, sensibly, points to fact he seeks to have the FIA respected: he is succeeding without making unnecessary waves (such as imposing massive fines on teams run by people he doesn’t like on very shaky ground).
Todt is a manager and administrator with many years experience; he’s also a racer, with a racers heart. The Concorde Agreement – which sets out how the commercial revenues of F1 are handled and distributed – is a major sticking point with regard to the future of the sport, with Mercedes rumoured to be at odds with the general gist of the proposed new version. It needs to be sorted out soon.
Meanwhile, Robin Frijns, who we talked about just the other day, will be busy at the Abu Dhabi young driver test: not only will the promising young Dutchman test for Sauber, he will also be seen for one day in the Red Bull. The second Red Bull driver at the test will be Portuguese rising star, and Red Bull protégé, Antonio Felix da Costa, who has stamped his mark on the FR3.5 series this year – won by Frijns in controversial style – by running only six of the nine rounds, and winning four of them. There’s another name to put on the list of ‘ones to watch’.