The FIA World Motor Sport Council have met in Paris today at their French headquarters on Place de la Concorde. Among the topics covered in the meeting was the 2009 Formula One calendar, which has been released as a provisional schedule (full details were posted earlier) and also discussed was the future direction of the sport. The FIA are to conduct a review of how Formula One is governed, only weeks after Bernie Ecclestone (through his companies) suggested he wanted more control over the sport.
In a statement released by the FIA earlier, it is planned that the governing body will consult with the teams in a hope to improve efficiency and technical regulations in the future. It was also stated that the governance of the sport will be included in the review. And as if this was not enough, the FIA plans to initiate a new feeder series to Formula One, called Formula Two.
The main feeder series to motor sport’s pinnacle sport is currently GP2, a series that has evolved from Formula 3000 and is considered to be an excellent breeding ground for aspiring young drivers. Of the current grid, 12 drivers went through GP2 (or F3000), which is owned by Bernie Ecclestone. The new Formula Two series would directly rival GP2 if the plans and interpretation are correct.
The FIA will enter into a wide-ranging consultation with the Formula One teams to examine plans for improved efficiency, including new technical regulations for the Championship. This will also involve a review of the governance of Formula One.
Each team’s entry fee for the 2009 Championship will be €309,000 (the 2008 fee plus a three per cent increase in line with inflation). The FIA will hold a consultation with the Formula One teams for the introduction of further fees to cover improved safety systems and equipment at every Grand Prix.
The FIA will invite tenders for a new feeder series for Formula One. This championship, called Formula Two, would be launched in 2009 and used as an inexpensive platform to develop emerging driver talent for Formula One. It is hoped this can be achieved within a budget of around €200,000 a car per season. FIA Statement.
The fees Formula One teams pay to the FIA were in discussion earlier in the week, as it became known that the FIA wanted a significant raise. Currently the teams pay around €300,000 per year which goes towards the costs of running the sport. Formula One is expensive and employs a lot of people. With technology improving and new systems coming onboard (light-flags, garage communications, marshelling and weather forecasting systems) the costs have naturally increased. However, the teams were said to not be happy about the amount the FIA are said to be thinking of: €740,000. That’s almost a 150% increase.
However, the statement from the FIA WMSC states that for 2009, the entry fee will only see a 3% rise to €309,000 to cover inflation. And unlike the driver’s super license fee which rose dramatically over the winter without consultation with the drivers, the FIA have said they will speak with teams prior to further increases.