Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

How to write letters and influence people // Max Mosley writes an FIA letter to F1's team principals

Published by Christine

Max has put pen to paper once again, and started the New Year with a missive sent to the President of the FOTA, Luca di Montezemolo, copying in all team principals. The letter is a simple update on the cost cutting process, but contains a lot of insight.

Max Mosley

Mosley starts by listing some general points, encouraging everyone to remember that Formula One could not continue as it was. He also makes a point of saying that "having recently invested in an expensive facility is not an argument for retaining it." This seems like a very odd start to a letter, and I'm curious if that's aimed at anyone in particular?

He moves on to some specific rulings, concentrating on the 2010 season when the really big changes are going to happen. Here's a quick rundown:

  • No major changes on the engine front, rev limited and frozen until 2013.
  • Testing restricted to 15,000km including Fridays.
  • Standard gearbox, and a standard (or frozen) chassis aside from a list of parts that may be developed.
  • KERS remains optional, but Max lists out some very specific development ideas the FIA have got. Suddenly batteries aren't feasible in Formula 1 and they'd prefer teams to make KERS devices that will be road relevant.
  • The FIA are very keen on the idea of a budget caps, and see it as a fair way to limit costs. They want teams to discuss how it could work.

Here is the most important excerpt though:

The main complaint from race fans is the lack of overtaking and wheel-to-wheel racing...

We intend to seek FOTA’s help to investigate the use of moveable aerodynamic devices. If sufficiently radical, these could give a car following another car a performance advantage by virtue of being behind.

Firstly, Max has started listening to the fans complaints? Surely this can't be right. Secondly, moveable devices could now be allowed! We were already aware of the prospect of a fiddly front wing supposedly helping overtaking for next year, but this seems like a lot more could be on the cards. Presumably it would all be discussed, agreed upon, limited to certain areas of the car, and certain movements. Nevertheless, this seems to go against everything the FIA have been regulating for the last few years. Expect Ferrari to have an advantage in this from the off.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the letter, the bits I've picked out or anything I may have missed. The teams are meeting in London today, what will they make of the above, and just exactly where is Formula 1 headed for the future?