F1 decision making won’t improve for another 4 years | DN&C 06/04/16


F1 could be stuck in political quagmire until 2020

FIA president Jean Todt does not see Formula One’s governance changing before the current Concorde Agreement and commercial contracts with teams expire in 2020.s always the goal – but to be honest my attention was elsewhere at that point.


The FIA agreed to the existing system (see below for details) in 2013, and at the time heralded “a strong and stable sporting governance framework which includes the Formula One Group, the FIA and the participating teams”

F1’s rule-making process

Strategy Group

Rules are formulated in the F1 Strategy Group, which is made up of six of the 11 teams, the FIA and the Commercial Rights Holder, which is represented by Bernie Ecclestone. Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull and Williams have permanent seats on the Strategy Group, while Force India is the sixth member this year because it was the best placed of the rest of the teams last year. Each team has one vote each, while the FIA and Ecclestone have six votes each. If they work together, the voting structure gives the FIA and Ecclestone the power to overrule the teams. However, Ferrari also has a veto based on its historical standing in the sport.

F1 Commission and WMSC

Suggestions from the Strategy Group are then passed on to the F1 Commission, which is made up of 26 votes. The FIA, CRH, teams, race promoters and sponsors are all represented and before the end of February each year, a 66 percent majority is required to pass rules for the following year. After that date unanimous agreement is required (with the exception of the 2017 rules, where the deadline has been extended to April 30, 2016). Once new rules are agreed by the F1 Commission they are passed to the FIA’s World Motor Sport Commission for approval, although this is usually just a formality.

But when it was put to Todt that the system he agreed to in 2013 leaves the sport in a bind when it comes to rule making, he said: “That is the way of the triangular governance of Formula One. [We have to] wait until the renewal of the Concorde Agreement in 2020 and then decide to change the governance. It may be another president of the FIA because we are currently in 2016 and it cannot be before 2020.

“Unless the teams and the commercial rights holder and the FIA decide we want to change the governance, then we can do it tomorrow. But we can only do it tomorrow if everybody accepts to change the governance.”

Todt says it is the F1 Commission, which existed before his first term as FIA president, and not the Strategy Group, which he helped form, that is the issue.

For further reading visit espn.co.uk


More F1 news

Bahrain’s F1 Grand Prix Ends in Tragedy: Ali Abdul Ghani, 17, Killed in Police Arrest

Behind the fireworks, shiny racing cars and celebrations of the Formula One Grand Prix in Bahrain, 17-year-old Ali Abdul Ghani was gasping for his last breath. As Nico Rosberg, the race’s winner, celebrated his victory, the young man, who was on the run, and sentenced to five years in prison, was probably already dead.

The teenager had sustained serious injuries as he was running away from security forces and masked men who attempted to arrest him. This all took place in a neighboring village to the Bahrain International Circuit just as the massive event was launched there on the March 31.

The Bahraini Interior Ministry’s Twitter account tweeted:

It did not elaborate further. Yesterday, Abdul Ghani’s death was announced and today thousands marched in the village of Shahrakan, where he was buried.

In this video, angry crowds chanted “Down Down Hamad,” in reference to the country’s monarch King Hamad.

But Bahrain has been failing to score credible points in its human rights and justice records. Alwadaei’s NGO, along with four others, said in their joint-statement:

Ali’s death comes during the 2016 Formula One race and as authorities threaten to increase security across the country. He is the second to die during the event after Salah Abbas, a father of five who was killed by police on the eve of the 2012 race after being tortured and shot. His corpse was found on the roof of a building. Despite promises by authorities to open an investigation, no one has ever been held responsible for Salah’s death.

The tiny Gulf kingdom has been repeatedly slammed by leading human rights organisations as well as the United Nations for failing to fix its political and human rights problems which exploded into chaos with a mass crackdown on pro-democracy protests in 2011.



Teams signal tentative approval for new F1 qualifying format

Team bosses have shown some tentative support for the revised qualifying format proposed by the FIA to be discussed and voted upon during another meeting between the F1 stakeholders on Thursday.

“I think it is a vote yes, but to be honest we don’t even know,” declared McLaren’s Eric Boullier, while Ferrari’s Maurizio Arrivabene said ‘it doesn’t sound that bad’. Claire Williams has also suggested her support by saying it seems a well-thought out idea.



Rosberg implicated in ‘Panama Papers’ data leak

Championship leader Nico Rosberg’s name is among hundreds implicated in an enormous global leak of documents known as the ‘Panama Papers’. The 11.5 million confidential documents come from a law firm in Panama called Mossack Fonseca, exposing a web of secret offshore companies allegedly used to hide wealth, evade tax and launder money, according to the Financial Times.

NDR, a German public broadcaster, said Rosberg’s name is among those like football star Lionel Messi mentioned in the massive data leak, relating to his latest F1 contract with Mercedes. The report said Rosberg’s F1 deal is actually between Mercedes and a company called Ambitious Group Limited, based in the British Virgin Islands.

And Ambitious Group apparently belongs to two other alleged “front” companies headquartered in the Channel Islands. But ARD, another German broadcaster, made clear that the documents do not indicate that Mercedes or Rosberg did anything illegal. Mercedes would not comment, while a lawyer for Rosberg told the French sports daily L’Equipe that it is a private matter.

Another F1-connected name linked with the Panama Papers leak is Jarno Trulli, but the Italian told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I have several companies in the world and all are run in a transparent manner.” And when asked why his name is also connected with Mossack Fonseca, former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo told Italy’s L’Espresso: “I do not know this law firm.” (GMM)



Wehrlein hails Manor progress after midfield scrap

Pascal Wehrlein hailed the progress made by Manor after he was able to sustain a race-long fight in the midfield and collect 13th place at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

“It was a great race for me,” he said. “I can’t even compare it to the one in Melbourne because it felt like a completely different race. The car was better, the way we could manage the tyres was better – everything was just a big improvement. It was quite chaotic to begin with but that happens in the midfield so I’m not going to complain. My start was good and I managed to avoid any contact, then the rest of the first stint was really good fun.”

Wehrlein revealed that worsening tyre degradation prevented him from passing Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson during the closing stages.

“It would have been good to take the second Sauber at the end but I had started to lose the tyres by then, we still experienced some tyre degradation, which is why we switched to a three-stop strategy, but it was much better than the last race and another good sign for us.”



On Linkedin? Follow me for updates when you should be working

Screen shot 2016-02-22 at 15.42.25


33 responses to “F1 decision making won’t improve for another 4 years | DN&C 06/04/16

    • Agreed, F1Acid. The needless focus on altering an unbroken qualifying system, and all the subsequent shenanigans that have followed, is evidence of this. I don’t think the sport/business/farce – call it what you will – can operate under the triumvirate of FOM, FIA and the teams using this paralysing 6-6-1/1/1/1/1/1 voting framework until 2020.


      • “Todt says it is the F1 Commission, which existed before his first term as FIA president, and not the Strategy Group, which he helped form, that is the issue.”
        The Strategy Group only makes recommendations – it is the F1 Commission that has to pass it into law (i.e. the rules).

  1. UN critical of human rights issues in Bahrain…..Funny that.
    Wonder why they don’t broaden their horizons and look who has suckered up to their leader in the name of doing Sierra Foxtrot Alpha…..

  2. So Nick “Panama” Rosberg runs his business through a shell company called Ambitious Group. The hat fits, but something like Ability Corporation would have been a better situation to aspire to.

    Digressing: I love the way the ‘soles caught up in this all say that it isn’t illegal and that it’s a private matter as some kind of defence. That’s true but the privacy only need extend to the details. They fail the sniff test because they only admit to these tax schemes after they’re caught up in a data leak.

    • I’m not really sure it matters if F1 drivers who reside in Monaco are playing the tax game, after-all that’s exactly why all the top drivers live either there or in Switzerland.

      This isn’t like Leo Messi, who lives in Spain, having involvement in tax evasion techniques. The F1 crowd are very open about their reasons for living there. Thus, with regards to F1 drivers/staff who live in Monaco this seems like a non-story to me.

      • But don’t you think for ROS it’s rather questionable as to what’s the reason behind it, given he has lived in Monaco all his life?

        • If I were to take a guess I’d suggest it’s to benefit someone else in the deal, be it his manager, an advisor, someone on Mercs end? Most likely someone involved doesn’t live in Monaco. Monaco has no income tax (or capital gains for that matter). From that perspective there is zero reason for Nico to have something like that in place, his management team however may not live in Monaco, in which case it could be to their benefit.

          • “.. there is zero reason for Nico to have something like that in place..”

            …and yet he does, apparently. Curious, don’t you think?…

          • Rosberg’s CONTRACT was done through illegal means, hidden at an offshore bank where the goal is to hide money. The implication here is, clearly, that Mercedes is paying Rosberg a substantial amount of money they want no one to know about; money far surpassing his alleged contract figures. Otherwise, there is no reason for this to attempt to ghost his contract.

            The thought that money is being hidden for Rosberg’s manager is ludicrous on its face — a knee-jerk, protective stance. If this was to occur, the only person mentioned in the Panama Papers would be his manager, certainly not Nico Rosberg.

        • It’s clear to me that he’s just helping out his team-mate by stashing Ham’s undeclared millions safely off-shore. Like any good buddy would…

  3. In my opinion what Totd says is correct facts as are, everybody concerned individually signed and entered into a contract agreement with the commercial rights holder, all parts did so believing they will gain something of sorts, the problems, regardless if those contract agreements were good or bad, started when one part started pushing for the goal posts to be moved, it got worse when one part starts instigating another part to shifts the said goal posts, the situation gets even more complicated when one part or parts of that agreement starts constantly interfering with rules and regulations to divide and so be able to rule, the latest from Bernie is a hint that smacks of blackmail and or “I am willing to cut my nose to spit my wife” or “if I don’t play the way I like, I will take the ball out of the playing field” his hints I am referring to is his latest re the talks he is having with the European commission. As I always said on here and elsewhere, for the good of F1, Bernie must go, when this last onehalfthecancerleftinF1 is gone, most of the formula one problems will follow him out the door.

  4. Bernie Ecclestone has the same doctors as Keith Richards … he will never die. To bad that we need to wish for Ecclestone’s death for F1 to improve… the tears on that day will reveal his biggest pacifist.

  5. I see Kevin Eason thinks Lewis has taken his eye off the ball since taking the title in the US last season:

    I’d argue that Eason is very very wrong on this. The change in performance between the two Mercedes driver came several races prior to races he attributes to “gimmi’s”. The last race Hamilton roundly outperformed Nico was Singapore 2015. Yes Singapore. Considerably prior to taking the title.

    Singapore – star of the show? Not Mercedes, it was Vettel (or Ricciardo). Hamilton had out qualified Nico and was ahead of him in race prior to a PU failure.
    Japan – Nico out qualified Lewis and really had the pace to win that race.He didn’t he was given a fair, but rather rude, shoulder out of turn 2 thanks to Lewis’ start dropping him back into the pack, while he recovered LH scampered off into the distance.
    Russia – Rosberg on pole again. Not only that but he was in front of his team mate, leading the race when a brake issue forced retirement. Would he have won? FP performances suggested so.
    US (Austin) – Rosberg on pole again. Another shoulder from Lewis into turn 1. It mattered not, Rosberg recovers and was rather easily leading the race up until Kyvatt bins it. That safety car won Hamilton the race, not Rosberg losing 5 seconds due to a driving error, no wonder the cap got thrown back!
    Mexico, Brazil, Ab Dhab – NR pole to victory.

    Australia – a Hamilton favourite this track. A handy red flag saves Lewis some blushes, he even alluded it was a pretty big save given his early race struggles. Rosberg whilst not stunning did enough on a track he clearly doesn’t favour. Would it have proven different with a better start for Lewis? Probably yes, but it’s tricky to judge when NR had overheating front brakes due to debris.
    Bahrain – another Hamilton track of preference. Rosberg quicker in most FP sessions, Hamilton making an error on his first Q3 attempt, eventually beats Nico by 0.077s for pole with an all or nothing style lap. NR making the better start, Ham ‘strung by Bottas racing incident.

    I’m struggling to see what other than the tyre pressure changes post Italy could have prompted such a change in performance from Hamilton? Hamilton is the guy who roundly thrashed Rosberg in 2014 (when the 44 car didn’t break) and two thirds of 2015. China is another track that Lewis goes well on, another Rosberg win and perhaps I’ll have to change my view on who will be the 2016 champion. Either way though, looking at driving performances rather than just pure results shows that Nico is on a real run of form, and unlike Mr Eason I think it started some races prior to Lewis taking the title.

    • The same Kevin Eason who wrote before the season start that Lewis should be sent to the back of the grid so as to save F1?… Yup he’s the master of everything.

      Last season was last season, things change. Everyone was saying how ROS would carry over his new found performance advantage. That hasn’t really happened, because so far he has soundly been out qualified, barring the start issues, we’d probably be here saying “oh crap, ROS looks like he’s in for another 2015”

      After qualifying in Australia the look on his face was one of surprise, because all weekend he was playing second fiddle. Bahrain he said after qualifying “he was sure he had secured pole” which I assumed was due to his first run in Q3, only to see that time get beaten. Lewis has had the pace over him so far this season, but unfortunately we weren’t able to see that because of the blatant obvious.

      Eason is just fishing for something to attribute Lewis’s start to and quite frankly there’s nothing there other than what we already know, and that’s with the clutch affecting his starts. Had they gone well, there’d be nothing to talk about, other than how boring the 2 races were and how boring the seasons going to be.

    • Unfortunately this season it’s not yet quite clear where the two stack, courtesy of Hamilton’s T1 performance in the first two races. Hamilton has managed to eke poles in both Australia and Bahrain, but only just. With Merc no longer able to overtake Ferrari willy-nilly (as was clear in Bahrain), this year promises to be more fun WDC-wise…

      • Mercedes didn’t get close to Ferrari to even attempt an overtake…

        Not sure I’d say he “eked out pole in Australia” as the margin (if rounded up) was .400

        And I’d think him trailing in the championship would make for a better overall spectacle than him leading from the get go.

        • I think the interesting bit is that Lewis was 0.6s quicker than Nico in Q3 in both Australia and Bahrain last year. This year the margin to his team mate was 0.36 and 0.07 on the same tracks. That’s quite some change. He’s still got the advantage on a Saturday, but that margin he had seems greatly reduced. Even taking the “gimmi” races out of the equation, either Rosberg has upped his game since Singapore/Italy or Lewis’ game has dropped down somewhat. It’ll be really interesting to see who takes pole in China, last year Lewis had it by 0.042s, so if the form change is anything to go by we should expect Nico on pole ?

  6. Such a pity it’s Rosberg’s name in those Panama papers and not Hamilton’s. Within hours this will all be forgotten.
    If it was Hamilton’s though, imagine the endless debates, articles, blogs, youtube videos, newspapers, keeping people busy, keeping people at work, helping the economy, journalism…and, yes, I am being sarcastic!

    • Poor attempt at being sarcastic, or have you somehow managed to role 2 sarcasm into one?….: anyways, I believe all that you’ve mentioned would indeed become reality…….

      All you have to do is look at The Daily Mail F1 section and see what the lead story is…

      • Oh my word! Just looked! Don’t people have anything better to do? Even if half of the grid disappears or grand prix circuits close down, I bet you that these papers will keep reporting some non-story about Hamilton!

        • I think these media outlets have a designated group task with monitoring everyone of his social media sites.

  7. Just an idle thought: does anyone know if the drivers are routinely (but randomly) tested for use of performance-enhancing and/or, shall we say, ‘recreational’ drugs ?

  8. Why won’t F1 improve? Why can’t qualifying bet changed? In part, here’s why:

    “Bernie Ecclestone says drivers “shouldn’t even be allowed to talk” and are only interesting in making money from Formula One.

    “The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) recently called for an overhaul of F1’s “obsolete and ill-structured” governance, which it felt had been shown up by the ongoing uncertainty and lack of decision over qualifying. F1 boss Ecclestone wrote back to the drivers asking for them to put forward some suggestions of how to fix the sport in its current guise.

    “However, speaking in Bahrain, Ecclestone said drivers are self-interested and only care about the sport because it rewards them so well financially.

    “What sort of interest do they have, the drivers, other than taking money out of the sport?” Ecclestone said. “I’ve never seen one of them put one dollar in, you go to dinner with them and they don’t even pay the bill. They shouldn’t even be allowed to talk. They should get in the car and drive it.””

    There’s so much wrong with The Troll’s statements I don’t even know where to begin.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.