F1 bosses descend on Biggin Hill for summit

Future of F1 on the table
Future of F1 on the table

The powers that be in F1 are gathering at Biggin Hill today (Wednesday) under the guise of the Formula 1 Commission in what could be termed a crisis meeting to address the growing dissatisfaction regarding several elements of the sport, including: fans turning off their TVs, and embracing new media, cost cutting, lack of noise and an F1 Hall of Fame.

High on the agenda will be measures to revamp the ‘show’ and keep fans interested in the light of a major switch off since the new era Formula 1 was unleashed to the public. Reports claim that viewership and race day attendances have declined dramatically since the onset of the new V6 turbo era.

Also on the table will be ongoing proposals to reduce costs, this after the FIA ditched proposed regulatory measures to cap costs and invited teams to suggest methods to save money, in an attempt to address concerns by smaller teams that the sport is becoming unaffordable.

In attendance will be representatives of teams, race organisers, sponsors, while FIA and FOM delegations will be headed up by Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone respectively.

Ahead of the summit, Autosprint reports that in the aftermath of the Canadian Grand Prix team bosses met at the Sofitel Hotel near Heathrow to discuss cost cutting measures for the future.

Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt will be at Biggin Hill gathering
Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt will be at Biggin Hill gathering

The main goal to cut costs for teams is to reduce mileage and increase the minimum limits of engines and gearboxes.

According to the report, the teams have unanimously agreed to change the grand prix weekend schedule with Friday Free Practice action set to kick off in the afternoon with two 45 minute sessions separated by a 30 minute break. This would save teams 30 hours of track time during the course of a season.

Starting with 2015, teams want testing to be reduced to three pre-season tests of four days each to be held in Europe. For 2016 teams want the pre-season tests to be reduced to two, thus eight days in total.

Many Formula 1 fans have been highly critical of the new engine formula, while the likes of Ferrari’s president have openly claimed that “Formula 1 isn’t working” and called for a summit meeting between power-brokers. Many see this as an annual Ferrari ‘war cry’ (lament) amid dismal performances on track, however Montezemolo is clearly not alone among the sport’s bosses to criticize the direction that F1 has taken.

The meeting at Biggin Hill is the final opportunity for F1’s collective to give input to the final proposals which will then be presented and ratified at the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council meeting in Munich on 26 June. (GP247)