F1 teams want changes before signing up for 2013

By on Sunday, May 8, 2011

May 8 (GMM) Stefano Domenicali has laid out the stall as formula one teams prepare to get tough in negotiations about the sport's future.

Politics have returned to the F1 paddock in the form of a powerful consortium expressing interest in buying F1's commercial rights from CVC, amid the backdrop of the expiring Concorde Agreement.

The term 'breakaway' is not being thrown about as it was amid the last political battle two years ago, but Eric Boullier - now a major player in the F1 teams association FOTA - made the body's warning clear in Turkey.

Referring to the 2012 agreement between the teams and the current F1 owners, the Renault boss said: "After that, there is nothing binding the teams to FOM (Formula One Management)."

It is an obvious suggestion that the teams not only want more income beyond 2012, but also key changes.

"We want clear rules, stability in the regulations, the return of some European circuits, a reduction in ticket prices, and finally a closer relationship with the public and especially the younger generation," Ferrari team boss Domenicali is quoted by O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.

An unnamed source told the newspaper there is some dissatisfaction with the role CVC has played since the London based private equity firm bought F1, implying there is a risk the teams will actively back the News Corp/Exor buyout.

"We need a partner who is interested in formula one, who wants to develop with us and not just collect the profits we generate," the team source said.

"This partner should come with a new proposal, where we (the teams) can participate in the discussions that relate to our interests," he added.

As the new political stage is set, there have been rumblings of disunity within FOTA, but the body's chairman Martin Whitmarsh told the Neue Zurcher Zeitung newspaper that harmony on that front is vital.

"Even if we fight each Sunday, we have common interests," he said.

"We are competing not only against other sports, but also a thousand other forms of entertainment. So we need stability, growth and sustainability. Who has the rights is then less important," he added.

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