Tag Archives: formula one

2010 F1 rules (if there is a 2010 F1 series that is!)

July 3, 2009

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As close as I can get to a definitive timeline of the F1 dispute

8/1/09 – FOTA unanimously agree to (http://www.teamsassociation.org/press-release/2009-01-08/fota-press-release) :

  • cost reducing initiatives
  • sign a comprehensive Aerodynamic Test Restrictions Agreement (effective 2009)
  • develop and freeze low cost transmissions for 2010-12 seasons
  • reaffirm their commitment to £5m engine supply from 2010 for independent teams

5/3/09 – FOTA Roadmap for the Future of Formula one (http://www.teamsassociation.org/press-release/2009-03-05/fota-press-release). FOTA publishes its proposals for the sport:

  • 8 Engines per driver per season (at cost of £8m dropping to £5m per team by 2010)
  • Standardised KERS
  • 50% reduction in aerodynamics spend, with restriction on development changes through a season
  • Standardised telemetry and radio systems
  • 50% testing reduction
  • New points system (12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1) to differentiate GP winners
  • Radical new points scoring opportunities (1 championship point for fastest pit-stop)
  • Enhanced engagement with public and TV coverage, including Starting fuel loads, tyre specs and refuelling data made public
  • Findings of Global Audience Survey released
  • History of FOTA attached

20/3/09 – FOTA Press Release (http://www.teamsassociation.org/press-release/2009-03-20/fota-statement) objecting to the World Motor Sport Council decision to change the way the Driver’s championship is awarded.

26/3/09 – FOTA Press Release (http://www.teamsassociation.org/press-release/2009-03-26/press-release) claiming that CVC (the Commercial rights holders for F1) owe agreed sums of money to the teams for 2006-08 championships

 

The following letters were all published on the FIA site and can be downloaded at: http://fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/f1releases/2009/Pages/fia_fota.aspx (bottom of the page, headings 1-4)

28/4/09 – Letter from Luca di Montezemolo (Ferrari / FOTA chair to Max Mosley) agrees in principle to process of cost-cutting started by FIA, but criticises its communication and implementation. In particular:

  • Objected to submission of new 2010 regulations (including the cost cap and difficulties in implementation both technically and for individual teams)
  • Rejected proposals for a two-tier championship
  • Reasserts Ferrari’s rights under the Concorde Agreement

 29/04/09 – Letter from Max Mosley (FIA) in response to Luca

  • Expresses fears that another team will drop out and absence of any legal agreement from any other team to continue. The cost-capped team is therefore ‘an insurance policy to maintain a full field’
  • Wish that any cost-cutting restrictions come in the form of financial measures, rather than the technological restrictions (proposed by FOTA).

 

Interestingly, the FIA approach seems to echo Ross Brawn’s who is quoted by Reuters as stating: One of the difficulties of Formula One is that we are turning into Swiss watchmakers. We are just refining everything to the nth degree instead of being able to make conceptual or innovative changes because the rules are becoming more and more constrictive. To try and contain the costs, we are just closing everything down so much, and I’m not sure that’s what Formula One should be. We can save costs by saying ‘That’s all you are allowed to spend, and have more freedom’. For me, that’s a more exciting Formula One for us and the public and we’ve always supported that concept.” (http://uk.reuters.com/article/motorSportsNews/idUKL815353020090508?feedType=RSS&feedName=motorSportsNews&sp=true)

 

30/4/09 – F1 Cost Cap Q&A and Discussions, Released by FIA (http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/f1releases/2009/Pages/f1_cost_cap.aspx)

  • Confirmation of FIA position of cost-cutting through financial spending and leaving technological improvements comparatively unfettered
  • £40m cost cap
  • Establishment of Costs Commission to monitor compliance and enforce the costs cap

6/5/09 – FOTA meeting in Heathrow to examine FIA regulations (http://www.teamsassociation.org/press-release/2009-05-06/press-release). Constructive meeting, but seeks urgent consultations with FIA

At this point, while both the FIA & FOTA are agreed that cost cutting is necessary, the first sticking point seems to be in agreeing the extent. While the headline figure is £40m, there are a number of important exclusions in relation to driver salaries, fines / penalties, engines and corporate hospitality / marketing which actually makes the figure much closer to the team’s position. This is because driver salaries alone in some teams would have swallowed up much of this figure (Raikkonen and Hamilton are paid at least £10-20m) and while Mosley argued substantial salaries could still be paid, but in the form of dividends rather than wages, this was rejected by the teams.

The second sticking point is the team’s unwillingness to disclose their accounts to the governing body. Although the FIA agreed with Deloitte Accountants that the “vast majority of payments are traceable” and that any benefits in kind “can be valued”, the original plan would be that every team is audited by an FIA Costs Commission. This is quite firmly rejected by the teams.

 

At this point the lawyers really start to get involved and the letters become a lot more formal……..

12/5/09 – Letter from Peter (Ferrari Lawyers) to FIA

  • Asserts that Ferrari will be exercising their right of veto in respect of the introduction of any new Technical or Sporting Regulations (apparently given to them by the FIA in a letter, Jan 17th 2005) (it is perhaps just worth pausing for a moment while the implications of this actually sink in – what other sports teams, in any sport, have any special secret veto powers over what rules they do or do not like? There’s  favouritism and poor governance, and then there’s this!)

13/5/09 – Letter from Mosley to Peter in response

  • Suggests that as the teams have failed to deliver sufficient cost cuts and given the fact that Ferrari cannot stop itself from overspending(!), FIA has no choice but to act to protect the Championship [1]
  • Rejects any suggestion that the cost cap was improperly introduced [2]
  • Confirms existence of the 2005 agreement between FIA and Ferrari, and that it also included FOM. States that loyalty was an essential part of the contractual consideration and by Ferrari leading FOTA to seize control of significant aspects of the regulatory and financial functioning of Championship, and threatening to leave the Championship, it was not complying with these terms [7]
  • Rejects that any Ferrari exists, but if it did do so, the FIA suggest that these would only apply to any Sporting or Technical Regs that require Ferrari to alter its car (which does not apply here), and that this veto should have been applied before any regulations were adopted [10].

Ironically though, Reuters reports that Ferrari was the most cost-efficient Formula One team last season! Although F1 teams increased their overall budgets by an average of about 10%, the report estimates that Ferrari invested 328.2 million euros to win eight races and gain 172 points last season, while Japan’s Toyota and former Honda teams sit at the bottom of the list in terms of cost efficiency. (http://uk.reuters.com/article/motorSportsNews/idUKLO58544420090324?feedType=RSS&feedName=motorSportsNews) The report says nothing about absolute spending however.

 

15/5/09 – Letter from Peter to FIA

  • Doesn’t accept the description of the 2005 agreement and any conditions and suggests the only qualification to the agreement is on safety grounds (inapplicable here) [2]
  • Rejects FIA suggestion that the new regulations do not affect Ferrari [4]

 

20/5/09 – Ferrari v FIA in Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris (no access to the official resource). From Press releases and news reports, seems that the court refused to strike out the 2010 regs, but suggested that Ferrari did have a potential veto.

23/5/09 – Another Letter from Peter to FIA

  • Rejects any suggestion that the 2005 Agreement with FIA means that Ferrari have a binding contractual obligation to compete in 2010 [1]
  • Confirms that under another 2005 Agreement with FOM that Ferrari extends their participation until 2012, subject to a condition precedent that a new Concorde Agreement is signed by FIA, FOM and Ferrari (this hasn’t happened yet) [2]

26/5/09 – Letter from FIA to Peter

  • Unsurprisingly, the FIA rejects all the claims and demands made in the previous Ferrari letters
  • Suggests that internal inconsistency between arguments in letter (that Ferrari did not have any contractual obligation to compete) and argument before French Courts / World Council (that Ferrari received 2005 consideration in return for agreement to compete)
  • By entering into the 2005 agreement, FIA argues that Ferrari accepts the obligation under the Concorde Agreement to participate in the Championship, in addition to any rights it feels it might have (veto)
  • Suggests that Ferrari’s opportunity to object to any regulations or use its veto had passed and no longer existed in relation to the 2010 regs
  • Seeks clarification regarding the status of the 1998 Concorde Agreement
  • Reasserts that Ferrari is contractually bound to enter the F1 Championship up to 2012

 

Then we get the following concessions from the FIA:

 

26/5/09 – Letter from Max to Luca

  • Proposes a cap for 2010, which could be as high as €100m (£86m) [1]
  • Proposes a Cap for 2011 at £40m [2]
  • Scraps proposal of separate rules for cost-capped teams [3]
  • Facilitate know-how transfer between new and old teams [4]
  • One employee per team (eg Chief Designer) in addition to drivers can be outside cap for 2011 [5]
  • Draft of proposed Concorde Agreement sent by the teams is broadly acceptable [6]
  • Cost cap can be renamed as “financial regulation” or any other term [7]

 

Before going back to all the lawyer’s letters……

26/5/09 – Letter from Peter in response to Max’s Letter

  • Ferrari accuses FIA of breach of contract in relation to the adoption of the 2010 F1 Regs in contravention of the 1998 Concorde Agreement
  • Confirms that the French Courts (20/5/09) recognise Ferrari’s veto right
  • Suggests that FIA refusal to recognise this right of veto over the 2010 regs is also a breach of contract
  • Suggest that as the FIA breach of contracts have created significant damages for Ferrari, the only sensible way for Ferrari to mitigate their damages is to immediately withdraw its proposed amendments to the existing F1 regulations, and that should the FIA continue to ‘refuse to honour its contractual obligations, Ferrari will be forced to consider its options, including holding the FIA liable for the losses sustained as a result of the various breaches by the FIA of its contractual obligations.’
  • Ferrari enters a conditional entry to the 2010 Championship

29/5/09 – FOTA Press Release (http://www.teamsassociation.org/press-release/2009-05-29/press-release) confirming that all FOTA teams have entered for 2010 season on basis of:

  • FOTA revision to 2010 regulations apply
  • New Concorde Agreement is signed by all parties before 12th June 2009

8/6/09 – Letter from FIA to Peter

  • Disagrees (again unsurprisingly) with all previous Ferrari points
  • Confirms that the French Court decision ruled that any veto that Ferrari had over 2010 regulations should have been used before this date
  • Rejects any suggestion that the FIA should have used the Concorde Agreement to make rule modifications
  • Rejects any claim that the FIA has breached any contract
  • Reiterates claims that Ferrari has breached agreement with FIA by threatening to withdraw from the Championship (suggests that the instability caused by this gives rise to damage, but that FIA has not decided what action to take although this is under active consideration)

9/6/09 – Letter from Peter to FIA

  • Rejects any contention that Ferrari has lost any rights under the 2005 Agreement
  • Suggests that Ferrari voted against the proposed changes at World Motor Sport Council (April 29, 2009), therefore FIA is still in breach of its contractual undertakings
  • States that as the French courts would not decide the issue, it thus remains fully open on the merits

Not written down by either side, but picked up by the Times F1 Blog (http://timesonline.typepad.com/formula_one/2009/06/the-big-bad-wolf.html) is the suggestion that following a meeting of the teams in Monaco, there is an agreement between the five manufacturers to pay each other £50 million each in compensation if they decide to leave FOTA and join the FIA. (The Times also uses the analogy here of a group of fish bolting themselves together to stop a circling shark ravaging them)

 

10/6/09 – Letter from FIA to Peter

  • Suggested that as Ferrari participated in 15 rule changes after the Concorde Agreement lapsed, any use of the Concorde Agreement is irrelevant (although the last paragraph in particular in phrased in somewhat indelicate language and almost guarantees a response back!!!)

11/6/09 – Letter from Peter to FIA

  • Suggests that FIA was misleading the public by suggesting that the Ferrari entry was unconditional and they therefore reserve their rights for the damages caused by this misleading statement. They also threaten to issue their own Press release.

12/6/09 – Two sentence response from FIA to Peter

  • In a nutshell, Ferrari has obligations under Concorde Agreement 98 to participate until 2012, therefore its not misleading or causes loss to announce this.

12/6/09 – Unsurprising Press Release issued by FOTA In response (http://www.teamsassociation.org/press-release/2009-06-12/press-release ) stating that their 2010 entries are conditional.

15/6/09 – FIA Press Release (http://fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/f1releases/2009/Pages/fota_1.aspx) stating that the FIA and FOTA very close to agreement over technical regs and costs and that there was an element in FOTA who were determined to prevent any agreement being reached.

15/06/09 – FIA Press Release in Response to ACEA Statement (http://fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/f1releases/2009/Pages/acea_1.aspx)  

16/06/09 – FIA Press Release (http://fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/f1releases/2009/Pages/fota_meeting.aspx), detailing meeting of financial experts from FIA & FOTA and suggesting an inevitable financial arms race was inevitable if FOTA proposals were agreed.

16/6/09 – Interesting FIA Press Release on what they feel the main ‘philosophical’ issues are: http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/f1releases/2009/Pages/fia_fota.aspx

17/6/09 – FIA Letter  to teams (the original teams letter hasn’t been published):

  • Governance – all parties should agree to 1998 Concorde Agreement and then negotiate new 2009 Agreement [1]
  • Finance – Suggested that reputable auditor backed up by signature of main company board member is sufficient, and that any suspected investigation over breach would be carried out by a mutually agreed auditor. Any breach would be subject to an agreed financial penalty (to be agreed) [2]
  • Confirmation that two tier regulations will be scrapped, however the letter also states that: “the Cosworth has to be allowed to run without limitation in 2010 (ie the 2008 duty cycle for a 2006 engine), because Cosworth have neither the time nor the resources to retune for 2010. Any engineer will confirm that this will not give the relevant teams any competitive advantage whatsoever” [3]

The response from FOTA was to issue this Press Release 18/6/09 (http://www.teamsassociation.org/press-release/2009-06-18/press-release) stating an intention to commence preparation for a new championship that:

  • Will have transparent governance
  • One set of regulations
  • Encourage more entrants
  • Listen to the wishes of fans (including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide)

19/6/09 – FIA Press Release in Response to FOTA announcement (http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/f1releases/2009/Pages/fota_and_fia.aspx):

  • States that it is not surprised but ‘the actions of FOTA as a whole, and Ferrari in particular, amount to serious violations of law including wilful interference with contractual relations, direct breaches of Ferrari’s legal obligations and a grave violation of competition law. The FIA will be issuing legal proceedings without delay.’

24/6/09 – ‘Peace in our Time?’ Press Releases from World Motor Sport Council (http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/wmsc/2009/Pages/wmsc_240609.aspx) and FOTA (http://www.teamsassociation.org/press-release/2009-06-25/fota-press-conference-transcript)

  • All teams have committed to the 2010 World championship using 2009 Technical Rules
  • Teams will, within two years, reduce the costs of competing to the level of the early 1990s
  • Teams agree to FIA as the sports governing body and FOM as the commercial rights holder
  • Teams will adhere to an upgraded version of the governance provisions of the 1998 Concorde Agreement
  • Max Mosley will not stand for re-election in October 2009

 

So the upshot is F1 continues as this year, and Max Mosley will not govern the FIA from October. Phew…….

The 2010 Regs: http://argent.fia.com/web/fia-public.nsf/755774E21C7A8B1DC12575B000326F7C/$FILE/1-2010%20F1%20SPORTING%20REGULATIONS%2006-05-2009.pdf

(for an interesting criticism of the current governance (or not) of the sport see also: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/ferrari/5320514/Formula-Ones-warring-factions-are-making-the-sport-a-laughing-stock.html)

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Driver licences (update)

July 2, 2009

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Last couple of motor sports posts before we move onto recent case law,

Sources: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/5040417/F1-drivers-licences-to-be-cheaper-in-2010.html; http://uk.reuters.com/article/motorSportsNews/idUKLQ24047520090326?feedType=RSS&feedName=motorSportsNews

We talked earlier in the year that the F1 drivers were upset by the cost of their super licences for drivers and this led to problems ahead of the start of the 2009 season. Hopefully this has now been resolved. Both the FIA and the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) have now agreed to a proposal to be made to the World Motor Sport Council to revise the super licence fees for drivers in the 2010 championship.

Lewis Hamilton (Last year’s World Champion) has also finally decided to join the GDPA after previously resisting calls to do so.

FIA Press Statement: http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/f1releases/2009/Pages/fia_licence.aspx

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F.O.F.A. (Formula One Fans Association)

June 23, 2009

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Source: http://timesonline.typepad.com/formula_one/2009/03/who-is-formula.html

Here’s an interesting idea, from GaryM on the Times Online Blog, which I haven’t seen repeated elsewhere. He argues that with all the furor about governance issues and how Formula One actually belongs to the fans, not the FIA, FOTA or the teams, why is there not a Formula One Fans Association (FOFA)?

Indeed, following Gary’s suggestion, if motor-racing truly wishes to take the views of fans into account, then there needs to be a mechanism where this can occur. This already occurs at a media level, and fans can post threads and discuss the latest news on broadcasters websites or on blogs like this, however will these really be taken in account when policy is being made? The cynic in me says that F1 is viewed at times by the governing body more as merchandise consumed by spectators and any surveys or view-finding by officials smacks of tokenism. Instead, what is needed is a partnership model where fans can actively engage in dialogue and have an impact on the running of the sport. I am not by any means suggesting that fans should be signatories to the Concorde Agreement, however there should be a mechanism that their views can be represented to the decision-makers at all levels of the sport. See for example the findings of the recent Global Audience Survey from FOTA: http://www.teamsassociation.org/sites/default/files/press_release/FOTA%20Press%20Release%20-%205%20Mar%202009.pdf

Football has official, and unofficial, fan associations and every major club has forums available for fans to engage with, challenge and help form opinions, where are these for F1 or motor racing?

As a number of posts have shown over the last couple of days, following F1 in person in both an expensive and dangerous pursuit! Isn’t it time that fans were received recognition for this (and I don’t mean simply with a branded credit card!)

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Blacked up fan seen at Spanish Grand Prix (again)

June 22, 2009

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Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/hamilton-race-row-is-revived-by-blackedup-spectator-1682714.html; http://www.everyrace.net/; http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8042572.stm 

Newspapers have reported that a spectator who had blacked-up his arms, face and hands whilst wearing a McLaren shirt was spotted amongst the 92,430 attendance on the Sunday 10th May race of the Spanish Grand Prix, at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

A spokeswoman for the International Automobile Federation (FIA) confirmed that: “We are aware of it and looking into it,” however there was no suggestion that Lewis Hamilton had experienced any abuse.

The FIA had previously warned the Spanish authorities that they could face sanctions if there was any repeat of the incidents experienced by Hamilton, Formula One’s first black champion, at a test in February 2008. During that incident, a group of people painted their faces black and wore curly wigs and Tshirts proclaiming they were ‘Hamilton’s family’. The outrage at this incident led to the FIAs anti-racism initiative – EveryRace.

Watch the Full video clip of the fan here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8042572.stm

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FINA tighten up swimsuit regulations

March 15, 2009

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Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympic_games/7944084.stm; http://www.cbc.ca/sports/amateur/story/2009/03/14/fina-swimsuits-ruling.html; http://www.independentweekly.com.au/news/local/sport/swimming/rose-says-lzr-world-records-need-asterisk-attached/1397626.aspx?storypage=2

 

FINA (the World governing body for swimming) has met this weekend in Dubai to consider whether any changes need to be made to swimming regulations. The result was the Dubai Charter (this Charter can be downloaded from the FINA website: http://www.fina.org/project/images/help/the%20dubai%20charter.pdf)

 

The Charter opens by asserting that FINA wishes to recall that the main and core principle is that swimming is a sport essentially based on the physical performance of the athlete…. FINA brings together athletes from around the world to compete on equal conditions and thereby decides the winner by the athlete who is physically the best.”

 

Before going on to revise and clarify many of the technical specifications for swimsuits:

·        Swimsuits should not cover the neck and must not extend past the shoulders and ankles (USA Swimming had earlier petitioned FINA to make this not below the knee)

·        The material should follow the body shape and not contain air-trapping effects

·        Maximum thickness of 1mm

·        Buoyancy effect of not more than 1 Newton

·        No pain-reduction / electro-stimulus or chemical release

·        Swimmers can only wear 1 swimsuit

·        No modification or customisation is permitted for individual swimmers

·        (From 01/01/10), Restrictions placed on the permeability of swimsuits (max: 50% of non-permeable material)

 

Any suits wishing to be worn at the World Championships in July need to be submitted to FINA by the end of this month for approval.

 

The impetus for these changes stems primarily from the 2008 season, when 108 world records were broken, 79 of them by swimmers wearing the revolutionary Speedo LZR Racer (including 23/25 records set in Beijing). Many critics argued that this amounts to ‘technological doping’ and that athletes wearing the LZR gain a significant advantage of those who do not. Indeed, Murray Rose (Four-time Olympic champion) argues that records set by swimmers wearing the LZR suit should be asterisked to distinguish them from the other ‘pure’ records.

 

That said though, given that a  spokesman for Speedo (manufacturer of the LZR Racer) is quoted as saying that,  “At this stage we are of the opinion the LZR Racer will be fine,”  do the FINA changes go far enough? It is true that the new regulations are certainly more transparent (not necessarily a good thing in a swimsuit!) and should enable suit manufacturers to predict with greater certainty whether their suits will pass the scientific testing put in place by FINA, a complaint made previously by some manufacturers. The fact that the swimsuits will not be customizable by individual athletes is also important as potentially this opens up the market (the argument that all we need to do is figure out which swimsuit Michael Phelps is wearing, buy that and voila a gold medal).

 

There are however two problems that remain, the first is that FINA have placed no limitations on pricing.  Potentially, while anybody could wear a $3,000 swimsuit, it is only the richer athletes / nations that can afford it. Indeed, similar arguments were made in Formula One which ultimately led to restrictions on testing and research budgets in order to allow smaller teams to compete. Not only would athletes like Eric Moussambani (nicknamed Eddie the Eel, who competed for Equatorial Guineau in 2000) be handicapped for not having swum in a 50m pool, but they would be at a double disadvantage if they could not afford the most expensive and technologically advanced swimsuit too.

 

 

 

 

The second problem will not be resolved until the summer, and that is FINA reserve the right to change their mind. If athletes in Rome swim too fast using the suits, all bets may be off and the regulations tightened ahead of the November 1st deadline. Better wait a few months before you buy your suit for next year then……

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FIA lift restrictions on Stepney & Coughlan

February 19, 2009

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Source: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/73154 ; http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12479_3805822,00.html

Max Mosley has revealed that the Federation Internationale d’Autosport (FIA) has now lifted its restrictions, six months earlier, on Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan working with motorsport teams. 

“The other day we got a letter from the lawyers of one of them saying he has got this restriction and this restriction, and it does seem a little bit mad to make them serve out even longer when the two teams concerned are all making love to each other,” Mosley said. “So, we have said we will let them forget it. In the end they were just very minor players. If the full story came out, they are two minor players and there are people who are not minor players. But the full story will probably never come out.”

·         Stepney (who is now working as Director of Race Technologies at on-board camera company – Gigawave) and Coughlan (who is now working for Ricardo Transmissions) were both fired by McLaren & Ferrari respectively for passing confidential information between the teams in 2007. The FIA also recommended that all license holders should be wary of working with either Stepney or Coughlan until July 2009, although they could not legally enforce this ban.

 

·         McLaren were fined $100 million and excluded from the 2007 constructors’ championship over the affair.

 

·         Criminal charges were also brought against Coughlan and three other Senior McLaren engineers (Paddy Lowe, Jonathan Neale & Rob Taylor) by Italian magistrates, however these charges have now been dropped in exchange for paying fines and not contesting the charges of copyright infringement of Ferrari data. McLaren have agreed to pay each of the three engineers 180,000 Euro fines, but have declined to confirm who will be paying Coughlan’s 180,000 Euro fine.

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Drivers complain over cost of superlicence fee (again!)

January 29, 2009

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** UPDATE: Three Formula One drivers have paid for their race licences, but no names or details as to who these drivers are, or what teams they belong to have been released.

While Max Mosley (President of the FIA – the International Governing Body for the sport) defends the price rise of the licence: “In the present climate, somebody who is earning several million a year and doesn’t want to spend one or two percent of that to get a licence for his trade is not going to get a lot of sympathy,”

The Grand Prix Drivers Association (GDPA) said that “drivers were not opposed to a “reasonable increase”, but did not want their licences to be a “revenue stream” for the FIA…The FIA should raise sufficient funds from the exploitation of its commercial rights,” the statement continued, “As a principle, the drivers should not be taxed to fund the costs of others fulfilling their legal duty to the drivers.”

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7876889.stm

 

Grand Prix drivers are complaining again about a minor increase in the cost of their superlicence fee (the licences are mandatory for participation in F1). When the licence fee originally rose in June 2008 in order to cover rising safety costs, a strike was only narrowly averted, this time, the Grand Prix Drivers Association is urging all drivers not to sign or pay for the new licences until the situation has been sorted.

“Autosport.com understands that correspondence has already been exchanged with the FIA about the matter, and is understood that president Max Mosley said he was willing to discuss the situation, but only if drivers could provide him with details of their earnings so he could judge whether the fee was too high.

With no resolution in sight between the drivers and the FIA, and amid a risk of the situation not getting sorted before teams head to Melbourne for the first race, the matter has now been tabled for discussion at the next meeting of the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) that takes place early next month” 

Source: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/72964; http://www.sportinglife.com/formula1/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=formula1/09/01/23/AUTO_Superlicences.html

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