F1 figures in crucial meetings before Austria GP
Crucial talks about the future of formula one are speeding ahead.
Between the Canadian and Austrian grands prix, team bosses, FIA president Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone reportedly got together for meetings in London. It was about finding urgent cost reduction proposals that bridge the divide between F1’s most competitive teams and the second half of the grid, who are angry about the lack of cooperation from their more powerful rivals. Any proposals that got a majority vote on Wednesday will be presented to the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council in its Munich meeting on June 26.
By then, time will be up for any other meaningful cost-saving for 2015, as post July 1, only rules with an almost-impossible unanimous vote can be introduced for next year. According to Italy’s Autosprint, only two major rule changes are likely next year. The first that has reportedly been voted through is the shakeup of the grand prix weekend format, with Thursday’s media activities and Friday morning practice both axed.
“The idea came up, let’s not do the Friday and save engine and gearbox miles — it’s about one (less) engine a year,” Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff told Sky. “And that is, if not (a saving of) millions, it’s at least a million or a million and a half,” he said.
Autosprint said the F1 weekend from 2015 will now begin late on a Friday, with two 45 minute practice sessions, separated by a half-hour break.
Lotus’ Romain Grosjean is supportive. “As long as there’s a grand prix and qualifying session, that’s the main thing!” said the Frenchman.
Another proposal voted for in London will force teams to keep a single engine-gearbox-rear suspension layout attached to the race chassis for the entire race weekend. It is also rumoured that, at the meeting, Ferrari was chided for its latest quit threat, while declining television audiences and restless sponsors were also discussed.