F1 leaders gather for talks in Geneva
3 November 2011 – All of Formula 1’s key figures are meeting in Switzerland on Thursday in order to discuss the current significant issues of the sport; these include several requested team name changes for 2012, concerns over the Bahrain and Korean Grands Prix plus an obligation for drivers to run in qualifying’s top ten shootout.
The scene for today’s gathering is Geneva, home of FOTA (Formula One Teams’ Association), with Team Principals plus FIA President Jean Todt, FOM’s Bernie Ecclestone and representatives for Pirelli and engine manufacturers taking a step-by-step process of dealing with the sport’s current noteworthy topics.
The aforementioned name changes involve Lotus Renault GP becoming ‘Lotus’, Virgin Racing adapting only ‘Marussia’ branding and Tony Fernandes’ Team Lotus switching to a ‘Caterham’ guise for the 2012 campaign. The future of HRT – currently controlled by the Spanish Thesan Group – also remains unknown and is likely to be brought up.
Fears remain over the safety in Bahrain after this year’s race was called off due to civil unrest; the future of Korea’s event is also still uncertain. With regards to qualifying, fans have been disappointed this season as some teams elect not to run in Q3 in a bid to save tyres; rules demanding drivers to run, or introducing special sets of Pirelli tyres only for qualifying, are both ideas which could help to avoid this.
Another highly notable point which has been raised, not least in the paddock at last weekend’s Indian Grand Prix, is that of several teams collaborating with each other; for instance, Red Bull is in a technical partnership with Team Lotus whereas McLaren works closely with both Virgin Racing and Force India. Depending on overall opinions, such affiliations could be outlawed for the future.
A new Concorde Agreement – the document which binds teams, governing body the FIA and commercial rights holder FOM to form the basis by which F1 runs – will ultimately be written up for 2013.