The world of motorsport is gathering this week in Monaco for a series of meetings culminating in the World Motor Sport Council on Friday and the gala World Championship presentations on Friday night.
There are a number of items on the agenda at key meetings for F1 teams and stakeholders this week, the first with Jean Todt as president of the FIA.
The F1 commission is meeting for the first time in four years and although it is unlikely to agree any significant new measures for next year, because teams would have to agree unanimously, it looks like there could be some interesting refinements of how the race and qualifying will be run and there could be some votes on measures for 2011, which only require a majority. There is talk that some in season testing may be voted back in 2011, as the current situation has proved to be difficult for teams, particularly with bringing on young drivers.
With regard to what can be done about 2010, there has been a lot of dialogue recently among the stakeholders in F1 about how to improve the show and to get the most out of the new rules package. There are a number of concerns at large at the moment. First is the feeling among many in the F1 community that the racing without refuelling could be quite dull, so there are many suggestions as to how that could be rectificed. One possibility is to increase the minimum number of mandatory pit stops from one to two, which would mix things up a little more. Drivers will still have to use two types of tyre in the race, as this year, but that would tend to lead to one stop races, unless the soft tyre was very marginal.
There have been extensive discussions on how to perfect qualifying in the no refuelling era; Bernie Ecclestone proposed a lottery system, which was rejected. At present it looks like it will stay with the same three part format as last year, except that the final session will be run on low fuel, like the first two. Again, there are studies as to whether this can be fine tuned to add variety.
As it stands it will have the effect of putting the fastest car at the front and there would be no reason why that car should lose the race, barring a retirement. If one of the two tyre choices was quiet marginal on wear this would increase the importance of tyre preservation, which could spice things up a bit.
Hard on the heels of the confirmation of rescue of the British Grand Prix, in which Todt is believed to have played a significant role behind the scenes, the 2010 calendar will be confirmed. If all the venues are confirmed there will be 19 races including a new race in South Korea and a return to Montreal.
British Grand Prix organisers announced today that they had sold just under 6,500 tickets, worth more than £1.2 million pounds in less than 24 hours for the race on 11 July.
Meanwhile in Monaco for the next two days there will be the Motor Sport Business Forum which I am chairing and from which I will post with news and insights. First up tomorrow morning is Lotus boss Tony Fernandes, then it’s Gerard Lopez, one of the bidders to buy the Renault F1 team.