F1’s Strategy Group could face legal challenge


F1 teams have raised concerns over the new Strategy Group which is meeting for the first time today.

Changes in the composition of F1’s rulemaking bodies means the consent of just six of the eleven teams is required to bring in changes providing all FIA and FOM representatives are in agreement.

This has provoked concerns among smaller teams the Strategy Group will be used to bring in customer cars, something smaller teams have been fighting against, as it could place their business model in jeopardy.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh told Autosport it was possible the group’s decisions could face legal challenges from teams excluded from the rule making process.

“People are not choosing to legally challenge,” said Whitmarsh. “It’s running along, but at some point someone will become sufficiently agitated by an issue.”

“Any individual, I think, could really start to challenge this through some legal route, and I think the sport would then be very untidy indeed.”

Formula One Group CEO Bernie Ecclestone has been trying to introduce customers cars for several years. This would allow teams to run old chassis sold by other teams.

As car development accounts for a significant part of F1 teams’ budgets it would bring their cost of competition down, but could risk undermining constructors such as Sauber, Williams and Force India.