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Formula 1 Strategy Group 'could be illegal'


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#1 F.M.

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 21:27


Formula One's Strategy Group - the new rule-making body which meets for the first time on Monday - could well be illegal according to Force India's deputy principal Bob Fernley.

 

The Strategy Group, which has effectively replaced the sporting and technical working groups, is made up of 18 voting members, equally split between Formula One's governing body [the FIA], commercial rights holder [FOM] and six leading teams.

 

The six teams are made up of Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes and Williams - for historic reasons - and then the next highest-placed team in the F1 constructors' championship, for now Lotus.

 

But Fernley said this was "unethical and undemocratic" as the smaller five teams, who have no representation, will not have any rights to have their say or vote on any proposals.

 

"All teams basically pay the same amount to go racing," he told the Daily Telegraph. "The only differentials are in drivers' salaries and hospitality. And yet some teams have no say in how the sport is run. It could certainly be deemed abuse of a dominant position."

 

He said that one or two of the six included had reservations. "There is genuine concern among some of the teams on the Strategy Group, particularly the ones who are public companies. This is not ethical governance."

There is a significant school of thought that the Strategy Group is the first step towards easing the smaller teams out of the sport and for the top four teams to become constructors for the entire grid, selling cars to customer teams who would then make up the numbers.

 

"If you have big teams acting as constructors, unified and pledged to offer their services as two-car constructor teams, you have the grid," Fernley said. "The pie gets split only five ways and they get revenue from customer teams, too.

"I can tell you now that customer teams will not work. It is completely changing the DNA of F1."

http://en.espnf1.com...ory/130781.html


Edited by F.M., 19 October 2013 - 21:28.


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#2 scheivlak

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 21:31

See also http://plus.autospor...ula-1-strategy/ for a wider perspective on this.



#3 August

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 21:38

All teams are equal, but some teams are more equal than others.

 

But yeah, that's what you get when you give some teams priveleges when it comes to deciding about rules.

 

Still, I think nothing is going to change, even though FI is (understandably) disapponted.


Edited by August, 19 October 2013 - 21:38.


#4 ANF

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 21:58

Red Bull ... for historic reasons? :lol:



#5 SpartanChas

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 22:01

Williams for historic reasons. The others for being successful recently.

Edited by SpartanChas, 19 October 2013 - 22:01.


#6 Fastcake

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 22:02

F1 has had an EU investigation coming for a while really. The governance has never been above board, and any efforts to favour some of the competitors above others should not be allowed.



#7 Craigster

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 22:42

Oh dear even the members are turning on the FIA now
http://www.telegraph...e-partners.html

#8 olliek88

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 22:48

I love F1 as a sport but I absolutely detest its political bullish*t. I can not stand its elitism either, every team should have a place and have a say in the sport and its future, they have as much right as anyone else, the same goes for basic revenue. Ferrari shouldn't get more just because they are Ferrari etc etc. I could write a effing essay on F1's BS but, frankly, i've not got the energy to waste on something that will never change, at least not until the little white haired man pops his clogs. 



#9 scheivlak

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 22:53

Oh dear even the members are turning on the FIA now
http://www.telegraph...e-partners.html

That has nothing to do with this thread at all but everything with the presidential election circus. Should be moved to the appropriate thead.


Edited by scheivlak, 19 October 2013 - 22:54.


#10 SpaMaster

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:01

That is a genuine issue raised by FI. If you want representation from teams, it has to be a representation covering the entire grid. It is the job of FIA to push for this.



#11 pup

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 15:37

I love F1 as a sport but I absolutely detest its political bullish*t. 

 

The political bs has been the only sport in F1 for over a decade now.  Learn to love it.



#12 Shiroo

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 15:41

RBR for historic reasons? 

If history is the last 5 season, then sure, why not.



#13 TimRTC

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:41

RBR are surely far more relevant than Williams, unless they are speaking up for the backmarkers?



#14 ArkZ

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:30

This is a joke that only a few teams are invited, and btw the only relevant teams are Ferrari and McLaren if so. 


Edited by ArkZ, 21 October 2013 - 11:33.


#15 spacekid

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:48

I love F1 as a sport but I absolutely detest its political bullish*t. I can not stand its elitism either, every team should have a place and have a say in the sport and its future, they have as much right as anyone else, the same goes for basic revenue. Ferrari shouldn't get more just because they are Ferrari etc etc. I could write a effing essay on F1's BS but, frankly, i've not got the energy to waste on something that will never change, at least not until the little white haired man pops his clogs. 

 

I tend to disagree with you about the concept of unequal revenue. Teams like Ferrari and McLaren have been in F1 for a long, long time. They (and others like Williams) have arguably been the backbone of the sport while it has grown into the huge revenue generating behemoth that we know and love to complain about today. I think its fair to say that they have put the hours and money in the to the sport and deserve a greater slice of the pie than a new team that pitches up tomorrow having not invested anything at all

 

Its a bit like being a long term employee at a company and having gained experience and worked hard to help that company grow, you'd be annoyed if someone started tomorrow on exactly the same wage as you. I'm not saying how the revenue is split and who gets the bulk of the money is necessarily fair though.

 

With regards the vote, I can sort of see why the number of teams has been limited to 6 - to keep the weight of votes from teams/FIA/FOM equal, but I do agree that all teams shoukd have some say or vote here. I think maybe a weighted voting system would be more equitable, so the overall vote from the teams is still equal to FIA/FOM, but all the teams are included at different fractions.

 

The current system seems incredibly unfair to the likes of Sauber, for instance.



#16 Tsarwash

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:55

If it was for genuinely historical reasons then Sauber have as much a right to be there as Mercedes do. It's obviously about financial clout. We cannot expect Bernie to be upfront and straight about anything to do with F1 though, can we ?



#17 Petroltorque

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 15:59

The sooner the EU launch an investigation into the sport's governance the better. It's clearly anti competitive

#18 RealRacing

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 16:19

Hmm, if we use the same line of argument used for allowing TOs, "it has always been like that so it shouldn't be changed", why should the smaller teams be given representation in this instance? After all, here too it has always been like that...



#19 redreni

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 16:35

I seem to remember Mosley taking the line, when FOTA wanted to take over the sport, that "F1 is an FIA Championship, and we make the rules for that". But for some unfathomable reason, irrational hatred of Mosley, perhaps, most F1 fans appeared to take FOTA's side, and wanted the teams to be allowed to make the rules, even though their intention was quite obviously to have a formula where the manufacturers ruled the roost and set the rules to suit themselves, giving the paupers enough crumbs from their table to enable them to stay alive or else just taking them over and running them as "B" teams.

 

The way I see it, the agenda of the car manufacturers hasn't changed much since 4 years ago when there was a massive political shitstorm and fears of a breakaway series. Their ambitions have merely been put on ice for the last few years while they rode out the recession. They want F1 to be primarily about selling their brand, and they have their own ideas (often rather stupid and simple-minded ones) about how the rules should be changed to allow them to "showcase" whatever technology they're hoping to use as a lever to sell road cars. So they want control of the rulebook and they also want to increase their share of the revenues, and if they can turn the midfield and backmarker teams into customer outfits that they control, then they can force those teams to accept worse and worse commercial terms, spend less and less money, and just have them running round on a tiny budget using grandfathered machinery given to them by the big teams, leaving a much bigger slice of the FOM pie for themselves.

 

As a race fan, I would much rather the distribution of commercial revenues continued on more or less the same basis as now (essentially "to he that hath shall be given, and from he that hath not shall be taken away") but with all teams having an equal say in governance and rulemaking (which should ultimately remain the FIA's responsibility not any of the F1 governance structures) and with any team able, with investment, to challenge the dominant position of the top teams.

 

Obviously Ferrari is a special case.



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#20 Amphicar

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 16:35

Hmm, if we use the same line of argument used for allowing TOs, "it has always been like that so it shouldn't be changed", why should the smaller teams be given representation in this instance? After all, here too it has always been like that...

But in this case it hasn't always been like that - all the teams were represented on the former Sporting & Technical Working Groups - not just a select few, chosen by Bernie E.



#21 Fastcake

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 17:55

Obviously Ferrari is a special case.

 

Well when making up rules we can all help our favourites  ;)

 

 

I think in terms of creating the rules, the previous structures worked well. The consensus based approach from representatives of all the stakeholders is far better than having a group comprised of a select few teams and a higher number of FIA and FOM votes. The new Strategy group isn't meeting anyone's idea of good governance. I'm rather hoping someone does raise this through the courts, as there's far too much unfair play, especially when it comes to allocating prize money. Though I would wish that the FIA would work harder to push through some cost control measures over the intransigence of Red Bull, the past few years have been relatively peaceful compared to the turmoil we saw with Mosley.

 

As for money, well a good system in my view would be to have a set level of income for every team, hopefully enough to stop teams becoming too reliant on pay drivers, then having a smaller amount of income allocated on each years results, both race based and final positions in the constructors. While most drivers will fight for every place anyway, there might be extra encouragement from the pit wall if gaining the position resulted in even more money. Any sort of historical payments or bribes to Ferrari should be utterly eliminated.


Edited by Fastcake, 21 October 2013 - 18:04.