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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Max and Bernie war kicks up a notch

The FIA announced following the World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on Wednesday it plans to work with the teams concerning how Formula One is run.

It is the latest round in a continuing battle between Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone over distribution of money and Bernie’s desire for the FIA to sign into a new Concorde Agreement.

Mosley is arguing the teams should receive more revenue, while Ecclestone has said the FIA is overstepping its bounds.

“The FIA will enter into a wide-ranging consultation with the Formula One teams to examine plans for improved efficiency, including new technical regulations for the Championship. This will also involve a review of the governance of Formula One,” The FIA said in a statement.

The FIA has also fired another shot across Bernie’s bow, announcing a plan to revive Formula 2 as a feeder series. The new series would be in direct competition with the Bernie Ecclestone/Flavio Briatore created GP2 series.

“The FIA will invite tenders for a new feeder series for Formula One. This championship, called Formula Two, would be launched in 2009 and used as an inexpensive platform to develop emerging driver talent for Formula One. It is hoped this can be achieved within a budget of around €200,000 a car per season,” the statement read.

The FIA also discussed the possibility of raising entrance fees to cover the costs it incurs in relation to the sport.

IMS still hopes to lure F1’s return

The FIA announced its provisional schedule Wednesday, but the 19 race calendar did not include a USGP, despite Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials’ hopes in the spring the race could be on the ’09 schedule.

But the speedway hasn’t lost hope about reaching a deal.

“Discussions will continue," The Canadian Press reports speedway spokesman Ron Green said. "We believe a return of Formula One to our calendar, especially during our centennial era, the period between 2009-2011, would be appropriate. But it must be on terms reasonable to all the groups.”

It isn’t unprecedented for a race not on the provisional schedule to be added before the calendar is finalized, but with the schedule already at 19 races, chances seem unlikely.

“We want to stress it's just a provisional schedule," Green said. "We continue to be interested in the return of the United States Grand Prix.”

Meanwhile, the speedway remains focused on that other open-wheeled series that is its mainstay, as Indy Racing League officials met with some 15 auto manufacturers and engine builders over a new rules package for 2011.

Autoweek reports preferences seemed to be for turbos, and V6s, V8s and V12s were discussed.

Brian Barnhart, the IRL's president of competition, said while he thinks there are limits to the number of manufacturers the typical Indy field can maintain, the series has no plans to place limits on participation.

Kovalainen plays Flying Finn in day two of testing

Heikki Kovalainen topped the sheets for the second day of testing at Silverstone, while Giancarlo Fisichella suffered a heavy crash in gusty conditions at the site of next week’s British Grand Prix.

Kovalainen posted a time of 1:20.015 for McLaren. Jarno Trulli was second quickest in the Toyota, followed by Nico Rosberg in the Williams and Renault’s Nelson Piquet.

Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) and Sebastien Vettel (Toro Rosso) finished ahead of
yesterday’s leader, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, who finished seventh. Mark Webber (Red Bull) and Jenson Button (Honda) were eighth and ninth.

Giancarlo Fisichella finished in 10th, his day ended with a shunt at Becketts. A gust of wind was blamed. The Italian was checked out in the hospital as a precaution, but was uninjured.

  1. Kovalainen, McLaren, 1:20.015
  2. Trulli, Toyota, 1:20.391
  3. Rosberg, Williams, 1:20.624
  4. Piquet, Renault , 1:20.787
  5. Vettel, Toro Rosso, 1:20.795
  6. Kubica, BMW-Sauber, 1:20.982
  7. Massa, Ferrari, 1:21.069
  8. Webber, Red Bull, 1:21.170
  9. Button, Honda, 1:21.445
  10. Fisichella, Force India, 1:21.583
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