Teams worried over future rule changes

Autosport

McLaren and Mercedes are among seven teams who have written to the FIA expressing 'concern' about future rules changes, AUTOSPORT can reveal.

Ahead of a crunch meeting of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council on Friday to discuss F1's path for the next few years, there have been growing worries about plans to change the way the sport is governed as well as the way cost controls are being implemented.

In particular, a move to have only six teams on the Formula 1 Commission, allied to an increase in entry fees and the failure to implement an FIA-controlled Resource Restriction Agreement, have left a number of outfits agitated.

Sources have revealed that seven teams - McLaren, Mercedes, Force India, Sauber, Caterham, Marussia, HRT - have sent a joint letter to Jean Todt urging him to understand their 'concerns' about the situation.

In regards to governance, amid talk that the current think tanks the Technical Working Group and Sporting Working Group could be disbanded as part of a move that will see teams have just six members on an 18-strong F1 Commission, they are worried that they may lose influence on rule stability.

In the letter, a copy of which has been seen by AUTOSPORT, they wrote: "The Teams ... accept there may be the need to review the composition and operation of an F1 Commission, but do not wish to diminish the authority of the Teams in such a forum.

"In relation to the structure of the revamped Formula One Commission from 2013 onwards, the Teams are concerned over the proposed composition, with a reduction from twelve Teams to only six. Retaining the status quo is the preferred option."

There is also some confusion as to why the FIA, at a time when it is urging teams to reduce costs, is proposing a dramatic increase in team's entry fees for 2013 - as first revealed by AUTOSPORT.

"At a time when the FIA and Teams are actively engaged in cost control, the Teams wish to repeat their concern at such a significant increase," stated the letter.

"Moreover, Team fees and Driver Super Licence fees should be kept separate, and not bundled together."

Regarding cost controls, the teams request that the FIA make a push to introduce rules that help keep expenditure under control – as well as ensure a voluntary RRA comes in for 2013.

"It is our understanding that 10 of the current entrants voted to implement the chassis FIA RRA in 2013 and that there was unanimous support for a chassis/power-unit cost limitations FIA RRA in 2014," they said.

"Under the circumstances therefore, we would like to support the full introduction of a chassis RRA and power-unit cost limitations in 2014, with a voluntary chassis RRA submission procedure to the FIA implemented for 2013."

The WMSC meeting is also expected to discuss the draft F1 calendar that has been put forward by Bernie Ecclestone, with an official provisional calendar likely to be agreed subject to a final ratification in December.

* For a full analysis of the political situation ahead of the WMSC see the Weekly Grapevine.

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