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Decisions from the FIA

The FIA has issued a press release detailing its plans for the future of F1. Much of the document is concerned with the intent to force greater fuel economy in racing, to spur research and development in this area, in fact.

Istanbul

The drive to limit the amount the teams can spend on development continues, with the engine freeze brought forward to cover 2007 as well as 2008. But more time has been given (to 2009) for the FIA to develop new rules on aerodynamic advances. Interestingly, it is specified that 18 races will be held in 2007, whereas only 17 are listed in the FIA’s calendar. This must surely give renewed hope to the Imola officials that their circuit will be used next year.

Essentially, the document tells us nothing new; it merely confirms previous suggestions and makes them official. Another and more recent press release is a bit more controversial, however.

The FIA has ruled in the matter of the politicizing of the awards ceremony at the Turkish Grand Prix. The decision is brief enough to quote in its entirety:

WORLD MOTOR SPORT COUNCIL
2006 TURKISH GRAND PRIX – PODIUM CEREMONY
19.09.2006

The World Motor Sport Council has found against the National Sporting Authority of Turkey (TOSFED) and the Organisers of the Turkish Grand Prix (MSO) on all counts.

The organisations have been fined a combined total of $5 million.

That’s a huge fine to you or me but, to TOSFED and MSO, it must amount to chickenfeed, especially as they were in danger of losing their race completely. Remembering how Jerez lost its right to hold Grands Prix in 1997, I cannot help but feel that the FIA is demonstrating massive inconsistency here. Here’s what the Wikipedia has to say on the subject of the Jerez ban:

The track itself was banned from hosting FIA-sanctioned racing again after an incident where the mayor of the town disrupted the podium ceremonies. The people chosen to present the trophies were dependent on the race order, with Daimler-Benz chairman Jurgen Schrempp only willing to make a presentation to a McLaren-Mercedes driver. As the McLarens of Häkkinen and Coulthard passed Villeneuve’s Williams on the last lap, this would have meant he could present either the trophy for first or second position or the winning constructor trophy. There was some confusion due to the late changes in position and whilst the Mayor and the president of the region presented trophies, Schrempp did nothing. FIA president Max Mosely later announced “The disruption caused embarrassment and inconvenience to those presenting the trophies and therefore, no further rounds of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship will be held at the Jerez circuit.”

Embarrassment and inconvenience, hey? What, no misuse of the award ceremony for political purposes? It seems to me that it may be a case of one rule for the rich and another for the poor.

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