Posted on April 14, 2014


Red Bull Racing will have to wait until tomorrow morning to learn whether their appeal against Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from the result of Australian Grand Prix has been a success or a failure. Following the end of the six-hour hearing at the FIA’s Paris headquarters on Place de la Concorde, Jean-Christophe Breillat, General Secretary of the International Court of Appeal said:  “We will announce the decision tomorrow morning at the latest.” Red Bull Racing were represented at the hearing by Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner, Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey, Head of Car Engineering Paul Monaghan, R&D Project More…

Posted on April 13, 2014


Tomorrow (Monday) the appeal against Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from second place in the Australian Grand Prix will be heard. The Court of Appeal, an independent body, tasked with resolving issues like this by the FIA, will be the centre of a lot of attention as this case will be important for the governing body to assert its authority, which has been challenged by Red Bull’s approach in Melbourne to the technical and sporting regulations. Depending on who wins, it could affect the way that the technical side of the sport is administered as, if the FIA loses, the use of More…

Posted on February 17, 2014


The post-race, wheel-spinning ‘donuts’ that got Sebastian Vettel into hot water with race officials after he secured his fourth world championship title last year have been legalised by the FIA, though only if conducted in a safe manner. F1’s governing body has published a new set of sporting regulations containing a number of minor modifications, including a rule allowing drivers to celebrate victory in rubber-burning style. In an addition to article 43.3, which covers end-of-race procedure, the latest sporting regulations state that a winning driver may now “perform an act of celebration” before reaching parc fermé provided that the act More…

Posted on December 14, 2013


The FIA has introduced a penalty points system and pole position trophy for Formula 1 in 2014. If drivers accrue 12 points during a year, they will be handed a one-race ban. The points will then be reset. “Penalty points will remain on a driver’s Superlicence for a period of 12 months after which they will be respectively removed on the 12-month anniversary of their imposition,” said the FIA. Motorsport’s governing body also announced a pole position trophy that will be awarded to the driver who scores the most P1 grid slots during the season. Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel More…

Posted on December 9, 2013


In an effort to prolong the Championship race of a Formula One season, the F1 Strategy Group and the Formula One Commission have announced that double points will be awarded at the final race of the season, from 2014 onwards. The decision, which is just one of a raft of changes decided unanimously in Paris today is aimed at forcing teams and drivers to maintain their progression and performance in to the final lap of the season. This therefore means that 50 points will be available for victory at next year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and 86 for a on-two, More…

Posted on November 21, 2013


We have been following the progress of the Formula E series since it was first announced in April 2011 and the temperature has been rising lately on the FIA’s new world series, which is due to start in September 2014. Last week saw the publication of a report by Ernst & Young into the impact the series is set to have on global car market trends, then the Abt Audi team was confirmed as an entrant and today they announced that the prototype car has tested for the first time. Formula E is a new series of zero emissions racing, More…

Posted on September 27, 2013


The FIA and Bernie Ecclestone’s FOM group have signed the a bilateral Agreement, guaranteeing the governance and financial structure of F1 through to 2020, it has been announced today. There has been some confusion about what this means; it is not a Concorde Agreement, it sets out the framework for a Concorde Agreement, but at this stage it is a bilateral agreement between the two parties. Ecclestone also has bilateral agreements with the F1 teams, except Marussia. Although the FIA’s statement concludes, “Now that the agreement is operative, the parties will move towards the conclusion of a multi-party Concorde agreement,” More…

Posted on August 29, 2013


Jean Todt will be opposed in the forthcoming FIA presidential elections by David Ward, who was a key ally of former FIA president Max Mosley. Ward announced his decision today and has resigned as Secretary General of the FIA Foundation to prepare his campaign. “After much careful thought I have decided to stand as a candidate in the 2013 FIA Presidential election,” said Ward in a statement. “The election period begins in September and it will be necessary for me to approach FIA members to secure nominations. In these circumstances I think that the correct course of action is to More…

Posted on June 4, 2013


Six years ago, Robert Kubica had a huge accident at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, crashing into a wall at 180mph while trying to overtake Jarno Trulli in the Canadian Grand Prix. Incredibly, the Pole escaped serious injury, emerging with only a slight concussion and a sprained ankle, thanks to the work of the FIA to improve safety standards in Formula 1. The sport’s approach to safety has changed dramatically since the death of Ayrton Senna in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix with the FIA’s crash tests for Formula 1 cars becoming more and more stringent. The FIA’s technical delegate Jo More…

Posted on June 1, 2013


A statement was issued by the FIA on Friday night which takes the story of the secret tyre tests conducted in May by Ferrari (with a two year old car) and Mercedes (with a current car) to the next level, in calling them to co-operate with a disciplinary inquiry. Ferrari being drawn in is an interesting development, given that they were one of two teams, along with Red Bull, to protest against Mercedes over its test. On the face of it Ferrari’s test with a two year old car was within the rules. At the same time Pirelli has issued More…

Posted on May 13, 2013


All 22 Formula 1 drivers came together on the grid ahead of Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix to support the United Nations’ Global Road Safety Week, which aims to draw attention to the need to protect pedestrians on the world’s roads. More than 5,000 pedestrians are killed on roads across the world every week, according to the World Health Organisation. These fatalities make up a large percentage of the 1.3m killed on the roads every year. The aim of the campaign is to give pedestrians a voice when traffic safety is concerned so the UN launched “Long, Short Walk”, an initiative More…

Posted on March 16, 2013


The 2013 F1 season is already unique in that it has got underway without an agreement binding in the teams, the FIA and the commercial rights holder. Bernie Ecclestone has individual commercial deals with all the teams, except Marussia, but the hold up was agreeing terms with FIA president Jean Todt. However after a series of meetings recently between the two most powerful men in the sport, Todt told the Financial Times this weekend that the issues have been sorted and the FIA will sign the new Concorde Agreement, “I think we have all the ingredients to allow the FIA More…

Posted on November 30, 2012


The closing date for Formula 1 teams to pay the full increased entry fees to race in the 2013 season passed today, with the total revenues received by the FIA set to be in excess of $15 million. As confirmed recently in next season’s sporting regulations after months of deliberations, all teams now have to pay a flat fee of $500,000 at the time they submit their entries for the following year followed by an additional sum per point scored in the Constructors’ Championship at the completion of that particular season. The general per-point fee is $5,000, however, the constructors’ More…

Posted on November 7, 2012


Welcome to the JA on F1 podcast for November, brought to you by UBS. This month we have something a bit special. We went to Paris to quiz FIA president Jean Todt on the key subjects of the moment in F1 – the new higher team entry fees, 2014 engines and whether Bernie Ecclestone will have more of a say in making the F1 rules in future, “I will never allow things which are under our responsibility to be dealt with by anyone else,” he says forthrightly. And we have a behind-the-scenes special with the Williams F1 team. Bruno Senna More…

Posted on October 22, 2012


Tomorrow in Paris at the headquarters of the FIA, a very important meeting takes place with Jean Todt hosting the F1 teams and Bernie Ecclestone the F1 commercial rights holder. On the agenda will be the new eight year Concorde Agreement due to start in January 2013, a new FIA regulated cost control mechanism (Resource Restriction Agreement) relating to both chassis and engines, and the subject of spreading the costs of the 2014 engines across the full eight years, so the development costs are not front loaded and too expensive for teams. The idea of tomorrow’s meeting is to move More…

Posted on April 13, 2012


The FIA has released a statement this morning, before the teams and Bernie Ecclestone have had their scheduled 12-30pm meeting, designed to stop speculation about the Bahrain Grand Prix taking place next week. After a long silence over the subject of Bahrain, this statement puts the governing body shoulder to shoulder with the Bahraini authorities and states in the clearest terms that the race will go ahead next week. The timing is interesting for another reason; in that region Friday is a day when protests typically take place after prayers, so there will be close attention paid to the reaction More…

Posted on February 15, 2012


The last couple of days have seen some robust defence of the F1 Grand Prix in Bahrain. The sport’s commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone has briefed some of the Fleet Street (UK newspaper) journalists that the teams are 100% behind it and the FIA has also said that it thinks the event would help to heal tensions in the country. This is despite a return of violence to the streets of the country, on the anniversary of the Day of Rage. So what are we to make of it, with two months to go to the event? Attention now focusses on More…

Posted on December 18, 2011


Caterham F1 Team have announced, via the team’s chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne, that next year’s car has successfully passed the FIA crash tests. The CT-01 has yet to be given an official launch date, but getting the all clear from these preliminaries will allow the team to tick another box and make advances heading into the new year. It has been a busy week for the Hingham based squad following on from their official name change from Team Lotus to Caterham F1 Team on Tuesday. Gascoyne expressed his joy on Twitter. “Great week,” he said. “Renaming as Caterham F1 More…

Posted on June 12, 2011


The Formula 1 teams have been on notice for a few weeks that the practice of “hot blowing” and “cold blowing” exhaust through the diffusers is to be banned and yesterday the FIA confirmed that this would take effect from Silverstone onwards. Meanwhile the whole concept of blown diffusers will be banned in 2012 as new rules will insist that the exhausts exit out of the back of the car, as in the past. The Technical Working Group, which consists of the FIA’s Charlie Whiting and engineers from all the teams, will meet this week to decide exactly how to More…

Posted on June 3, 2011


The FIA World Motor Sport council today decided unanimously to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix, after postponing it earlier this year due to civil unrest. It is a very big decision and one that will cause a mixed reaction. It will surely resonate well beyond the boundaries of motor sport or of sport in general. Bernie Ecclestone has argued that money is not the reason the race is back on and has argued that F1 does not want to get involved in politics, but inevitably this is a case of “in not choosing we choose”. It was very important to More…

Posted on May 21, 2011


Further to the post earlier in the week about why the FIA is looking to clamp down on the way engines blow exhaust gases over the diffuser even when the driver lifts off the throttle, it was interesting to hear Charlie Whiting’s view on it last night. This is the second time this season that the FIA, now under a different press management team, has sat Charlie down and got him to give a media briefing. He has done a briefing for broadcasters at the start of each season for some years, but this is something to be encouraged. As More…

Posted on May 18, 2011


Yesterday’s volte face by the FIA on the exhaust blown diffusers has sent out some confused messages to fans about what’s going on behind the scenes. I’ve been in touch with engineers and with the FIA today to get to the bottom of it and here’s my take on what’s happened here. The FIA’s Charlie Whiting sent out a letter to teams on Thursday May 12th telling them that the FIA planned to clamp down on the way the engines were used to generate exhaust gas pressure on the over-run, in other words when the driver lifts off the throttle. More…

Posted on November 5, 2010


The FIA General Assembly met today and voted through some important changes to the International Sporting Code. The most eye catching is that “the FIA is allowed to impose sanctions on Super Licence holders who commit road traffic offences.” This is in light of Lewis Hamilton’s so called “Hooning” incident in Melbourne this year. With the FIA on a course of ramming home its Make Roads Safe message, it needed to have a lever over the most visible and high profile drivers -those in F1 – with regard to their behaviour on the roads. Most F1 drivers I’ve ever known More…

Posted on September 8, 2010


Ferrari walked away from the FIA World Motor Sport council today with no further punishment following the decision of the stewards at the German Grand Prix to fine them $100,000 for breaking a rule regarding team orders. And this evening the FIA put out a brief statement saying that the whole team orders rule is being reconsidered in the light of this case. “The Judging Body has also acknowledged that article 39.1 of the Sporting Regulations should be reviewed and has decided to refer this question to the Formula One Sporting Working Group,” it said. The Sporting Working Group is More…

Posted on August 3, 2010


The FIA has responded to lobbying from McLaren and Mercedes in particular and has decided to beef up the tests they carry out on the flexing of front wings. On the face of it this will oblige Red Bull and Ferrari to stop their wings from flexing as much as they do now and this will cost them lap time. But let’s look more closely at this and establish how much we think this will slow the cars down relative to the opposition. The FIA is allowed to change the test as it sees fit thanks to a rule which More…

Posted on July 16, 2010


The row over Fernando Alonso’s penalty at Silverstone for overtaking Robert Kubica illegally and failing to give back the place has moved on a step. Ferrari sporting director Massimo Rivola today released a minute by minute account of Ferrari’s actions during the period after the disputed overtake. He reveals that Ferrari was on the radio to FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting within 14 seconds of the incident. Alonso passed Kubica for fourth place by cutting off the circuit. He did not give the place back straight away and soon after the Renault hit technical problems, slowed and then retired. Nine More…

Posted on January 22, 2010


Three months into his tenure and new FIA president Jean Todt has started moving some of the pieces in his staffing jigsaw, with former convener of the stewards and FIA liaison man Alan Donnelly and former technical consulant Tony Purnell moved aside from roles in F1. Things are starting to hot up now in the reshuffle of personnel. The key appointment due to be made soon is F1 commissioner, a new and powerful position. The commissioner will be the face of the FIA at F1 events and the touch point for the teams and FOM with the governing body. The More…

Posted on June 14, 2009


There is a story in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera today about a letter sent by the FOTA teams yesterday (Saturday 13th June) to the FIA complaining about the behaviour of the FIA’s Alan Donnelly at the recent Turkish Grand Prix. The letter alleges that Donnelly was going around from team to team telling them to abandon the FOTA stance and sign up for 2010. It amounted to behaviour which the teams considered not appropriate for a man whose role at the races is to convene and oversee the stewards and to take a totally impartial view of problems More…

Posted on March 21, 2009


It was all looking so good, Ross Brawn saves the Honda team, the car turns out to be a rocket ship, David threatens Goliath, a shake up of the old order was in prospect. The racing was shaping up to be really close, with many teams on roughly the same pace. In other words a great season was in prospect, as many of you have said in your comments on this blog. And now with a week to go until the first race, we have the FIA backtracking on the winner takes all points rule, because the FOTA teams did More…

Posted on March 18, 2009


Just going back through my email archive I came across the February 29th press release from the FIA anticipating what arrived yesterday. Take a look, especially paragraph 3 and see how it evolved from here. “In view of the difficult economic conditions which continue to affect Formula One sponsors and major car manufacturers, the FIA is preparing radical proposals for 2010. If adopted by the World Motor Sport Council, the new regulations will enable a team to compete for a fraction of current budgets but nevertheless field cars which can match those of the established teams. These regulations will not More…

Posted on February 11, 2009


Interested to note that overnight Ron Dennis has made some comments which show that the top teams are shifting their view of the severity of the situation in F1 and the need for drastic action. Up to now they have been very resistant to the idea of talking percentages or numbers in terms of how much budgets might be brought down. But last night Ron said, “I think the top teams will manage to reduce their costs from between 10 and 50 per cent. But for the smaller teams it will be more dramatic, to the order of 30 to More…



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