The 'Monaco Agreement' and Customer Cars

Blog Zbod

Podium Finisher
Dieter Rencken writes in the July issue of F1 Racing magazine that he believes Bernie is using the occasion of F1's "Big 4" teams requesting rules changes to begin the sport down the path to a tiered system with lower strata teams campaigning customer cars sourced from the upper.

This apparently began when Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes met in Maranello this past January and came to agreement on seven points, presumably some manner of rules changes. Two weeks later, principals from the remaining teams met with Bernie to object to the seven points.

The problem for all concerned is that there is no Concorde Agreement, no Sporting or Technical Working Groups, and the Formula One Commission hasn't convened in near as makes no difference one year. So there is no clear-cut procedure for acting on requests for rules changes, particularly at mid-season. In a step to both codify a new procedure and to guarantee his influence in the process, Bernie is suggesting the creation of a "Strategy Committee," which would consist of the team principals from the "Big 4" (also known as the "Constructors' Championship Bonus teams"), plus Lotus and Williams (whose votes Bernie apparently believes he can control).

So the principals from these six "Strategy Committee" teams met (privately, not secretly) in Bernie's lavish motor coach in Monaco during the 2013 GP weekend there and agreed unanimously on three rules changes, AKA the Monaco Agreement, which are to be billed as "cost-cutting" measures: 1. Allow nine days in-season track testing. 2. Eliminate straight-line testing. 3. Reduce both the maximum time and the maximum processing power allowed each week for computational flow dynamics simulations from 40 hours and 40 teraflops to 33 hours and 33 teraflops.

The upshot, Rencken reckons, is that Bernie is seizing upon this opportunity to stratify the teams and establish a line of demarcation between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' as an incremental step down the road toward customer cars. And it all will be packaged as a method to redeem F1 from skyrocketing costs (even though Bernie is on record stating the teams always will spend every penny they can get their hands on).

The process for ratifying any F1 rules changes always ends with the World Motor Sports Council, and it yet is to be seen whether the WMSC even will consider informal proposals from an ad hoc group, which is all Bernie's "Strategy Committee" currently amounts to, or whether the WMSC will decline even to receive the proposals unless they are presented by a duly-appointed representative of the signatories to an existing Concorde Agreement.

Not sure how all this will play out but I'm just suspicious enough of Bernie to think that his involvement only can mean the sport will become the poorer for it. And for some inexplicable reason, I detect the faint odor of a coup.
 

jez101

Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
Contributor
Bernie and Ferrari have been trying to introduce customer cars for ten years. Williams always objected as they had / have no sugar daddy or manufacturer support. They felt like a turkey at Christmas.

It would be unlike Bernie to miss an opportunity to push this again and I take the point Blog Zbod that without a Concorde he might be able to rule unilaterally. I hope not, I don't want a grid of 6 teams providing 4 cars each.

As an aside, I'm pretty sure that the meeting mentioned (where testing was discussed) is when the plan to protest Mercs Barcelona test was hatched to keep F1 in the news during the last few weeks.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Never fathomed Frank William's objection to customer cars as that how he got started in the sport. Imagine how much more exciting this season would be if HRT were running last years McLaren chassis, and beating them! Just thinking about it Williams used to flog off their cars to other teams in the late 70's/early 80s, anyone else remember the RAM Williams cars with Rupert Keegan and other perpetual tailenders at the wheel?
 

rufus_mcdufus

Champion Elect
Never fathomed Frank William's objection to customer cars as that how he got started in the sport. Imagine how much more exciting this season would be if HRT were running last years McLaren chassis, and beating them! Just thinking about it Williams used to flog off their cars to other teams in the late 70's/early 80s, anyone else remember the RAM Williams cars with Rupert Keegan and other perpetual tailenders at the wheel?

Due to year-on-year regulation changes, the customer team would have to run the same year's cars, shirley? Is this the case in MotoGP? Not sure
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
In MotoGP before and during the transition from the 500cc 2-stroles to the 4-stroke formula older machines were allowed. I don't know what the current regulations say about though. Perhaps Jos the Boss is more up to date on this.
 
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