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GP Week : Issue 169
w BRIEFLY » While France might be nothing more than a memory, this week the prospect of a Thai Grand Prix hit the headlines once again, with news of a possible street race in Bangkok. According to the Thai government, an agreement in principle has been reached with Bernie Ecclestone, but no money has yet changed hands. “It will be a city race like those in Singapore and Monaco. It will be a night race like the Singapore Grand Prix,” Sports Authority of Thailand Governor Kanokphand Chulakasem told The Bangkok Post. The presence of Red Bull in Formula One means that the notion of a Thai race rears its head every few years; previous attempts to organise a grand prix in the southeast Asian country have all come to naught. » The World Motor Sport Council met in Paris on Friday to discuss rules and regulations for the full range of FIA championships. As far as Formula One was concerned, discussions were rather limited in scope. “The FIA President confirmed that positive and constructive discussions continue with regard to the new Concorde Agreement and it is anticipated a contract will be signed by the end of October,” the WMSC press release read. “Following a fax vote by the Technical Working Group, the 2013 Sporting and Technical Regulations were approved by the WMSC.” In addition, the WMSC voted to approve the provisional 2013 F1 calendar published in the last issue of GPWEEK. There are minor dates changes to the previously published calendar: the German and Belgian Grands Prix have both been moved by a week, and no longer form back-to-backs with Hungary and Italy respectively, while Korea now precedes Japan. Otherwise, the only alteration is the removal of question marks by the Singapore, Korean, and German Grands Prix, all of which had been listed as unconfirmed on the previous draft. Seven teams have joined forces to write to the FIA voicing their concerns over future rule changes and cost control measures. McLaren, Mercedes, Force India, Sauber, Caterham, Marussia, and HRT are all signatories to a letter expressing concern that a proposed rule change that would see six teams sitting on the Formula One Commission, instead of the Sporting and Technical Working Groups to which all 12 teams currently belong, could have a negative impact on the sport. The letter, parts of which were published by Autosport, reads: “The Teams ... accept there may be the need to review the composition and operation of an F1 Commission, but do not wish to diminish the authority of the Teams in such a forum. In relation to the structure of the revamped Formula One Commission from 2013 onwards, the Teams are concerned over the proposed composition, with a reduction from twelve Teams to only six. Retaining the status quo is the preferred option.” The letter also highlights the teams’ shared concerns over the increase in the proposed entry fee for the 2013 championship: “At a time when the FIA and Teams are actively engaged in cost control, the Teams wish to repeat their concern at such a significant increase. Moreover, Team fees and Driver Super Licence fees should be kept separate, and not bundled together.” Cost control is an on-going theme of the letter, with many outstanding decisions to be taken and a rapidly-approaching deadline. “It is our understanding that 10 of the current entrants voted to implement the chassis FIA RRA in 2013 and that there was unanimous support for a chassis/power-unit cost limitations FIA RRA in 2014,” the letter continued. “Under the circumstances therefore, we would like to support the full introduction of a chassis RRA and power-unit cost limitations in 2014, with a voluntary chassis RRA submission procedure to the FIA implemented for 2013.” CONCERNED TEAMS QUERY RULE CHANGES WITH FIA F1 >>> NEWS 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: