FOLLOWING the Monaco Grand Prix, Bernie Ecclestone was reported by CNN to have confirmed that all twelve teams had reached unanimity regarding a new Concorde Agreement.
Interestingly, at the time, it appeared that Mercedes and Williams had not agreed and were still peeved over the special incentives offered to Ferrari and Red Bull. Others, undecided at the time, were Caterham, Marussia and HRT, all newcomers who would receive no extra benefits.
Ecclestone seems to have convinced everyone that all is rosy and it is go for a new deal. He is reported as saying that: "We've just got all the current teams to sign up until 2020, and then I hope another ten years after that, and then forever. Everybody has agreed with it."
Well we will have to wait and see whether a final team's association agreement settles the situation for the next few years or not, but let us not forget that both Ferrari and Red Bull are no longer members of that organisation, so it should prove to be interesting.
Luca di Montezemelo, chairman of Ferrari, has once again spoken out regarding the cost of Formula One and has called for cost cutting measures to be implemented as soon as possible. On the official Ferrari website he stated: "The world economic situation, and that of Europe in particular, is very serious and the world of F1 cannot ignore the fact. "
"Ferrari is in agreement with the FIA's position that drastic intervention is required. We are absolutely convinced that, as I have always said, the teams and the commercial rights holder must work together with the federation on this front. This is no longer the moment for getting bogged down in sterile discussions or the meanderings of engineers, usually only concerned in defending the interests of someone or other, the question has to be tackled at the highest level, without further delay."
The FIA itself has already made it quite clear that it is out to reduce the costs of motorsport in all categories. In a statement the FIA said:"At their request, the FIA is having active discussions with the teams regarding cost control and any amendments to the technical regulations resulting from a further limit on expenditure on the chassis will be submitted to the WMSC via a fax vote before 30 June. The intention is to help all teams participate in the Championship in a fair and equal manner."
So this is where I have a bit of a problem with the whole issue. I am all for reducing costs in the present circumstances but it is the last section of the FIA's statement that concerns me. If one is to "help all teams participate in a fair and equal manner" just where are we going? The world of motorsport has always come down to the biggest budgets and that includes a budget that covers employing the best driver, so how do you even try to make it fair or equal.
Not so long ago we had two formulas that offered equal cars for all - same chassis same engine, gearbox etc. Remember Super League and A1 GP, single seater races that were going to show us just who was the best driver, but what happened, a complete lack of interest from the public in general and therefore goodbye to both series. So does this not indicate that making it equal and fair does not work.
I believe the average F1 fan wants to see manufacturers battle it out by finding the edge in technology and bringing the top drivers along to use that edge to the maximum. Ensuring that everyone has an equal and fair opportunity in motor racing would be as exciting as watching gloss enamel dry on a cold day.