Motorsports Governing Body FIA Spokesperson Says No Plans For Sole Fuel Supplier In F1
Motorsports governing body FIA has written to F1 team principals "assuring them they have no intention of tendering for a sole fuel supplier despite a recent announcement raising the possibility," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS. Leading teams "derive substantial sponsorship from oil companies" -- such as Shell, Total, Malaysia's Petronas and Venezuelan state-owned PDVSA -- and any move "to limit the sport to one supplier would be a big hit to team budgets." Concern was raised after FIA said last week that "a new 'Concorde Agreement' governing the sport would give it responsibility for conducting tenders for tyres and fuel." A FIA F1 spokesperson said, "Fuel was mentioned purely for illustrative purposes. There are no plans at present to have a fuel tender." McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh said, "We knew nothing about it (a possible fuel tender) until it emerged (after the FIA's World Motor Sport Council)." He added, "Look at the post-tobacco era and probably one of the biggest sectors of investors into the sport is the petro-chemical industry. You wouldn't want to jeopardize that, so commercially it doesn't make sense (to have a sole supplier)" (REUTERS, 10/3).