There are lots of stories today about the F1 Strategy Group voting to block the return of the ex-Marussia team, unless it can build 2015- spec cars. The rules are however not at all clear as the sport is governed by bilateral agreements between the various parties and these are private. This means that the rules are unclear. Daft though that may seem that is modern F1. How many of the F1 reporters really know how the Strategy Group operates and who has voted for what?The stories talk of the teams refusing but they are not the only ones with a say. Yes, one or two of the teams might want to kill the team to divide up the prize money between them. The people in F1 are cannibals… but, it would require more than that. My understanding is that most decisions are by a majority vote. The FIA and the Formula One group each have six votes and there are six teams, each with one vote. Thus if the bid to use 2014 cars has really been rejected it would have required one of the two block votes to sink the idea. It is hard to imagine what either has to lose from having some old cars trolling around at the back for a while. Even if the Formula One group voted to kill 2014 cars, that vote could be negated by the FIA agreeing to allow them and so the decision would then be based on whether the majority of the teams went one way or the other.
If it is deemed to be a rule change because of the lead times involved it might require 100 percent support for a change, if that is true it is scuppered. But why would this then require the involvement of the F1 Commission?
The F1 commission only rubber-stamps Strategy Group decisions. It can only accept or reject new ideas.
We will have to see.
Having said that, most of the stories floating about seem erroneous as they all seem to think that the team must be in Melbourne in March. This is definitely not true. There is no requirement for this because each team is allowed to miss three races a year if they have to (as we saw at the end of last year) which means that the team does not have to appear before April 18 in Bahrain, the fourth race of the year.
It is fair to say that given the state of the team, even that deadline is tight given the things that will need to be done, with a team that has few people and much equipment missing. It is possible that work might have been going on if someone bought the computers and IP but even if this is the case, one must not forget that the Marissia debts are huge and they would need to be dealt with if the team is to survive, and one has to ask if it is not more logical to a new investor to buy Force India.
Lotus is also up to its neck in debt, while there seems no hope now for Caterham, as the assets are to be sold.