The FIA Motor Sport World Council met today and confirmed a 20 race world championship calendar, with some revisions from the version that was leaked in the Singapore paddock last week.
Germany and Spa both move a week earlier, which makes more sense and gives a better balance to the July, August and September dates.
Meanwhile New Jersey appears on the schedule, provisionally, despite some suggestions from Bernie Ecclestone this week that the event does not currently have a valid contract.
In other news from the WMSC, the FIA said that the discussions over the new Concorde Agreement have progressed to the point where it believes that the new 8 year agreement will be ready for signature by the end of October.
The FIA may be ready to sign it, but there are plenty of indications from teams that they are quite some way off being able to sign a new Concorde Agreement and there are still some big issues still to be resolved over the next few weeks and months.
Although a fax vote took place to ratify the 2013 Sporting and Technical regulations, the teams are vexed by several aspects of them; the cost control mechanism, the new Resource Restriction Agreement, is not part of these Sporting Regulations, for example.
Meanwhile in the 2013 regulations, the deadline for entries is listed as October 30th, but there is no indication of the entry fee. The latest suggestion was that teams would pay £308,000 to enter, plus a price per point scored. That looks like being around £3,000 per point, but nothing is confirmed. This would give the FIA something like $15million a year from the teams, to add to the increased payment from the commercial rights holder.
Also deeply worrying some of the midfield teams is the appearance of the list of parts that teams must design themselves, which normally lives in the Concorde Agreement. In the absence of a Concorde Agreement for 2013, there is one school of thought that this list appearing in the Sporting Regulations is a way of ensuring that it is observed for 2013, but some teams are worried that it might open the door to change and erosion with the result that cars which are more like “customer cars” might start appearing – McLaren able to do more of the Force India car than currently, for example.
This is something Ferrari are keen to see in F1, but teams like Williams fear would make them uncompetitive.
The teams feel in a vulnerable position at the moment, dependent on the financial deals negotiated with the commercial rights holder for financial survival in a tough market for sponsorship, but with a lot of regulatory issues to be resolved.
Meanwhile the commercial rights holder looks to be in a very powerful position, with increasing influence over the running of the sport.
F1 World Championship Calendar 2013
17/03 AUS Australia
24/03 MYS Malaysia
14/04 CHN China
21/04 BHR Bahrain
12/05 ESP Spain (Barcelona)
26/05 MCO Monaco
09/06 CAN Canada
16/06 USA Jersey (New York) *
30/06 GBR Great Britain
14/07 DEU Germany
28/07 HUN Hungary
25/08 BEL Belgium
08/09 ITA Italy
22/09 SGP Singapore
06/10 KOR Korea
13/10 JPN Japan
27/10 IND India
03/11 ARE Abu Dhabi
17/11 USA USA (Austin)
24/11 BRA Brazil