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Teams question future of Strategy Group

NEWS STORY
04/10/2017

The six teams on the controversial F1 Strategy Group are seeking an overhaul of the group.

The Strategy Group was formed in 2013 and effectively replaced the Sporting and Technical Working Groups, the brainchild of an agreement between the FIA and the (then) commercial rights holders CVC and Bernie Ecclestone.

The object of the group, which consists of Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes, Williams and the team that finishes highest in the previous season's standings (Force India), is to put forward changes in regulations or directions for the sport towards the F1 Commission for subsequent ratification. Indeed, only proposals put forward by the Strategy Group can be considered by the F1 Commission.

In addition to the six teams, the Strategy Group comprises the Commercial Rights Holder and the FIA, the teams having one vote apiece and the FIA and Commercial Rights Holder six apiece.

While the F1 Commission comprises all ten teams, it only considers proposals put forward by the Strategy Group that comprises just six. (Still with us?)

In the wake of Liberty Media's purchase of the sport, the four teams not on the Strategy Group have been allowed to attend meetings but are only allowed to observe not vote.

The six teams on the Strategy Group have now written to Jean Todt (representing the FIA) and Chase Carey (representing the Commercial Rights Holder), questioning the group's role and its future.

The teams fear that whereas Bernie Ecclestone would usually vote with the teams, the new Commercial Rights Holder is more likely to side with the FIA.

Other than questioning the future and role of the group, claiming that some key issues that have the agreement of the majority of teams do not reach the F1 Commission because they have not been agreed by the Strategy Group, the letter cites widespread unease over Marcin Budkowski's alleged move to Renault and also money being spent by the Formula One Group.

The teams are concerned that money being spent by the Formula One Group on various projects this year, not least Ross Brawn's 'ghost' F1 team and events such as London Live will see their share of the sport's revenues fall.

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