FIA confirms teams cannot miss races

Posted on

| Written by

The FIA has clarified the rules regarding teams missing races, after a series of reports that Campos and US F1 were going to skip the first three rounds of the championship.

An FIA statement said:

From a sporting and regulatory point of view, each Team that has registered for the Championship is obliged to take part in every event of the season. Any failure to take part, even for just one Championship event, would constitute an infringement both of the Concorde Agreement and the FIA Regulations.
FIA statement

Stefan GP has already begun sending equipment to Bahrain in the hope that one of the teams won’t make it to the first race and it can take their place.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

48 comments on “FIA confirms teams cannot miss races”

  1. As always, we can count on FiA for stability in regulations.


    Just yesterday. Todt confirmed publicly that teams could miss three races out of the season.

    I see this season is going to be as clear and stable on rules as last season.

    1. one would assume after todt’s discussions with the media, he went back to the office, they called a meeting and discussed it, worked out what it should be and then put a rule on paper so no one gets confused, and there’s no miss-information.

      its now on paper, official and that’s the way it is.

      1. …or after Todt’s discussions with the media he went and spoke to Bernie (who is rumoured to be a strong supporter of Stefan GP’s efforts – I’ve even read that he ‘promised’ a place to Stefan GP).
        This also explains why Bernie has been so vocal about Campos and USF1 being unlikely to make it – laying the groundwork for the FIA to be ready to embrace Stefan GP.

  2. I’m happy… anything which gives Stefan GP a better chance of making the grid is a good thing for me!

  3. Okay, so they might infringe the regulations if they miss an event, but that doesn’t clear up if that infringement would mean the team is actually thrown out of the championship… unless that is stated somewhere else?

    1. Either you are ready to race or you are not. F1 is serious business with massive investment.
      If you wish to conduct business like that and miss races and hope for finance you are simply running in the wrong league. I would be most dissapointed in the FIA if they were not deferred to 2011. If Stefan GP is ready then by all means let them in.

  4. Hi, I just was shocked by terrible news. Here, in Lithuania f1 broadcasting from this season is transfered to paid tv channel. Maybe someone can help me: which sites show best f1 coverage. Thanks in advance.

    1. Join the live sessions here on race weekends and you just might find what you are looking for.

  5. Keith, you may have already posted it here, but can Stefan GP race at Bahrain if another team doesn’t show? Are there any agreements or rules in place that Stefan would have had to complete by the time they figure out that one of the others isn’t going to make it (i.e. Concorde Agreement, etc…).

    I guess it’s good that the FIA are sticking to their guns here by not letting a late team enter mid-season. I don’t like the idea of a team not being ready and then showing up three races into the season. I also don’t like the idea of Stefan GP waiting until the last second and putting some Frankenstein car together from a shipping container that is already in Bahrain. To me, that doesn’t seem to qualify as a team being ‘ready’…

    1. Stefan GP bought the 2010 car designed at great expense by Toyota. They have a launch date and first test scheduled for later this month.

      Basically every relevant rule and regulation says Stefan GP won’t be allowed to race. However if there is a no show and the FIA, FOM and FOTA (I hate acronyms) can agree (which would be a thing in itself) then Stefan GP could race. But those are big “ifs”.

      1. not as big a “IF” as whether Campos can get their money in place… or USF1 for that matter.

    2. From what I understand StefanGP can buy an entry off Campos or USF1 if they are willing to sell. They would then need no approval from anyone to race their cars at Bahrain. Rumours are that Stefan GP want to buy the Campos entry if Campos aren’t going to make the grid.

      They would however need approval if they wanted to change the entry name to “Stefan GP” but they could race without doing this therefore what would be the point in blocking a name change.

      If they cannot buy an existing entry then they would need special approval. Bernie apparently wants it to happen but I am not sure whether someone might get in the way so we will have to see.

      I would like Bruno and USF1 on the grid at Bahrain but I don’t hold out much hope for either.
      USF1 have no car to test, no launch date as yet and there isn’t much time now. The signs look bad to me. It is now my own feeling that neither Campos or USF1 will make Bahrain which is very crappy considering Lola and Prodrive seemed to be capable of a decent entries and were rejected for these amateurs.
      I hope Stefan GP get a chance if this is the case as they have shown willing when most people would have given up and I feel they should be given a shot at least.

      1. On the nail GQsm !

        Is this the first smear of egg yoke on the face our esteemed el presidente Todt ?

        It certainly makes him seem to be less in control of events than he should be if he’s not singing from the same hymn sheet as his FIA team.

        If Campos and/or USf1 find in all honesty that they haven’t a hope in hell of making the grid in Bahrain now, they should do the decent thing and gracefully step aside to let Stefan F1 take their official entry for the 2010 championship. The detail about the FIA approved team name can be sorted out at a later date, though I don’t suppose sponsors would be very happy with mixed messages.

      2. Yeah that’s right about buying the entry although the FIA can apparently rescind it if Campos can’t fulfil their commitment and then Stephan GP could be in a similar situation to where Sauber were… which turned out ok in the end!

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          10th February 2010, 22:45

          If the FIA rescind the entry, it doesn’t go to Stefan by default – they have to go through an entry selection process first.

          1. Yeah I know all I said was it turned out ok for Sauber. If it comes to that it basically seems to boil down to how much people in F1 like you, which if you’re Peter Sauber would seem to be more than a few. Stefanovic seems to have Bernie on his side, not a bad start.

        2. K AFAIK it doesn’t work like that. Stefan can buy Campos and basically become Campos on paper. The FIA cannot just revoke the entry without finding some special clause that was breeched and the obvious ones will be covered by Campos and Stefan as part of the sale.
          If Stefan buy Campos and turn up to race then “Campos” is fulfilling it’s commitment as there will be cars at Bahrain racing under the Campos entry.

          Sauber was totally different as BMW didn’t sign the concord agreement so their entry was not complete. As BMW didn’t have a completed entry into the championship, this is what allowed the FIA to give BMW Sauber’s entry to Lotus.

  6. But Johnny T said yesterday that they can…

    Why do they insist on printing the F1 rulebook in invisible ink… on paper made from mud?

  7. Oh god. Mixed messages alert! Todt’s first cockup?

    I wonder – is this a message from the FIA to say “actually, we realise now that USF1 and Campos have no hope. Let’s kill them off now. Maybe then StefanGP stand a chance of stepping up; then it won’t be TOO embarrassing”?

    i.e. better to give a leg-up to the one team who might achieve something, than to the two teams who probably won’t?

  8. So what was all this “teams can miss 3 races” nonsense?


    In the last draft of the Concorde Agreement it’s written that a team can skip three races


    Any failure to take part, even for just one Championship event, would constitute an infringement both of the Concorde Agreement and the FIA Regulations

    Now I may be way out on this one but I thought Todt and the FIA had something to do with each other.

    To be honest I thought it sounded a bit dubious, I mean what if all the teams decided not to turn up for the same 3 races? Or what if the championship contenders decided not to run after the championship was settled if the championship was decided before the last race?

    1. Well quite. But in practice any F1 team that isn’t in some kind of dire crisis will always show up to race – it would hurt their sponsors (and be a breach of sponsorship contract anyway I imagine) – never mind reputation, PR, etc. etc.

      1. You can’t rely on convention or past practice to remain the same. If there is a provision in the rules then it should be expected that at some point someone will make use of this provision.

        And who outside of the team’s legal and marketing departments knows what teams contracts with sponsors look like. They undoubtedly vary from team to team and sponsor to sponsor.

        Looking at the snippets of Todt’s statement that are available I reckon there is a provision that allows teams to miss three races but under specific circumstances. Why else would he say so in such unequivocal terms? I think he’s basically telling the truth but not the whole truth.

        The example of the 2005 US GP is interesting. After charging the seven Michelin teams the FIA later dropped all charges after it allegedly transpired that the teams could have faced criminal charges under local law. A new Concord agreement is now in force so would this have taken into consideration any lessons learned from the past?

      2. Recently, yes teams have turned up to all races. But teams used to pick and choose which races they turned up to in the old days.

        Not mentioning the boycott of Kyalami.

  9. Seen as there has been no bs statement by Windsor for a while, seems as though USF1 won’t make the grid after all.

    As for the three races misunderstanding, Could we start that Jean Todt approval rating from scratch again please!!??

    1. US F1 won’t make the grid? Based on what? Lack of a constant stream of press releases? Did you not see this in the news a couple of days ago?

      US F1 is going through its final crash tests and several reports suggest the chassis is at a very advanced stage.


      If either of these two teams is not going to show up, it is surely going to be Campos. Didn’t the team owner say that all the problems should be fixed by this last Monday?

    2. I believe it is Campos who will not make the grid, why you think it has to be USF1? The lack of coverage of their progress? or is it the low key profile they had have?

      1. This is odd. If Bernie says its in the concorde agrement Todt says it in the concorde are they making it up or is the councill over reaching.

    3. Oh come on…’s a relatively minor cock-up ! Give the guy a chance !

      I was no great supporter of the Todt candidature for president of FIA at any time, but he’s not proved to be a complete disaster… far…. He’s only done four months !

      Mind you….for at least ten years after Mosley carried out his political coup-d’etat
      and took over as el pesidente, he could do no wrong in the eyes of most people in F1.

      Who was it said all political careers, no matter how well they begin, always end in abject failure ?

      1. To be fair, he was quoting the concorde agreement which is the thing that holds it all together while the council is just being belligerant. Technically the FIA can make this kind of desicion but this wil annoy the hell out of Bernie.

        I’m semi suspicious, an silly conspiracy theory alert, this is literally a baseless hunch, that Todt orchestrated the whole thing because of how grudging he was about the concession in the first place, he said yes to Bernies face then told the council to vote no, thus empowering the FIA in a fully legitamate way, over Bernie, possibly FOTA an certainly the legality of the Concorde agreement. Something I suppose Bernie, or even all the FOTA members acting in unison could challenge through the courts.

  10. So is it any clearer what will happen if a team does not turn up to a race? The Concorde agreement seems to say a team can miss three races but now the FIA have said that if a team misses just one race they will face a penalty but have not said what it would be.

    If it wasnt for Stefan GP waiting in the wings seemingly ready to take part in the first race I wouldnt mind if one of the new teams missed the first few races if the extra time meant they would be fully ready when they did race

    My guess would be that the FIA and the other powers that be in F1 are preparing the way for Stefan GP replacing one of the new teams from the start of the season.

  11. What I don’t understand is Stefan GP should be testing that car like crazy!! They aren’t bound by the FIA testing restrictions as their not a sanctioned team.. so if they feel that they have a chance to race, get the car on the track and run it.. It would be an expensive gamble but one I would take.. :)

    1. “They arent bound by the FIA testing restrictions as their not a sanctioned team.”

      Wow, this indeed gives them A LOT of room to play with.

      1. Yes, but if they have a huge advantage in testing, it is less likely that the other teams will agree to their joining the championship.

        1. But how would anyone be able to tell?

          1. Good point. If they are able to test with no one actually knowing, what’s to say that they aren’t testing right now, in secret, at some secluded race track somewhere?

  12. This makes the mess the FIA made of selecting the new teams even more frustrating. Prodrive and Lola would have stood a much better chance of making it onto the grid for Bahrain

    1. Yawn. Prodrive didn’t make it last time out. There is no possible reason to suggest that they would be any better prepared this time. We simply don’t know.

  13. No way is Stefan going to get on the grid if Campos fail. How many teams need to agree to let them on the grid, because surely Sauber, Force India, Torro Rosso, Virgin, Lotus and US F1 will disagree becaus the car will be better than theirs. And I don’t want to see Ralf ‘Overated’ Schumacher back on the grid.

  14. I may not be out to make friends here but I cant be the only person who thinks who cares about Campos/USAF1/Stefan/Virgin etc. I know many here will want to have a go at me for this but I have watched for 40 years been to at least 100 GP’s and in that time I have seen plenty teams come and go. If you cant remember all of them you are not alone. I want competitive teams, teams that are near the front, not to make up numbers and are looking for biblical type disasters to gain a point in the sport. Last year the racing was the closest I have ever seen. Not enough overtaking but still the closest (regulations are still at fault). I know there are some on this site that remember cars being 4/5/6 laps down and 10 secs off the pace, I don’t want to watch them.

  15. ^ fair point, it is about being the best.

    but it is nice to give new people, teams/organisations/business/drivers a chance to participate. although that could be dealt with if 3 or 4 car teams were permitted, get more drivers and more money/interest in the sport from sponsor potentially(if more drivers/cars are competing – allowing the international support to be part of it). i think one of the biggest failings of the current 20 car setup(and test ban) is it doesnt give much chance for new/inexperienced/out of practice drivers a chance to get in. stability pays and then you lead to a very elitist club of 15 drivers that are seriously considered and tend to stay in and move around until someone retires/gets past it and is replaced by someone good enough to fill the void, while the careers of 5 new drivers/those transferring disciplines ruin their top level careers.

    1. Fully agree about new drivers. I do not agree with the testing ban and think it is possibly the worst FIA decision in 30 years. Young and test drivers should be allowed to drive 15 hours a day in current cars if they want to. Look at last year when drivers had their first outing in a current car during a race! I hope a rookie does not lose it and smack into someone else just to prove how wrong this is. F1 drivers have to evolve and develop. MSC aside if drivers were allowed to drive we would not have the likes of Villeneuve and Ralf trying to get back into a sport they should have been long out of long ago. The sport needs new talent that has at least had a chance to drive a car.

  16. So, let me see if I understand correctly – according to the Concorde Agreement if a team misses a grand prix they will be in contravention of said agreement and will therefore be penalised; further, (according to clause 13.5 of the same Agreement)if a team were to fail to participate in more than three grand prix they would automatically be withdrawn from the Championship (and no doubt be heavily penalised and sued etc).

    If the above is true, I think this is a fair compromise as the FIA have made a realistic assessment of the current circumstances in light of the global economy and the introduction of several new teams. More importantly, this would discourage any team (Campos and/or USF1) from missing the first race in Bahrain and thus potentially not delay the decision as regards Stefan GP as late as the Chinese GP. The way I see it, I would like to see both Campos and USF1 in Bahrain, but failing that I would like to see the FIA make a swift decision and green light Stefan GP if they are indeed ready to race.

  17. Ahhhhh what sweet and blissful news
    For one horrible moment there I was worried that F1 and the FIA had finally got their act together.
    Good to see Todt suffers from the same affliction as his predesessor Max, the ever extremely contagious(particularly around the F1 paddock)Foot In Mouth Disease, most often curable with a good dose of Foot Up Bum and Pulling Your Head In ,both usually administered by Nurse Bernie.

  18. What a crazy situation.

    FIA wanted more/new teams in F1 because they were afraid (rightly) that manufacturers would pull out whenever it suited them. They selected these new teams buy some strange criterior which excluded two quite well prepared organisations, knowing that they had an almost impossible task to have a competitive car ready for the start of the season.

    Now they are going to penalise these teams (who all struggling for money), presumably with massive fine if they are not ready.

    Formula 1 will always need new teams/drivers, you cannot expect the same teams to go on for ever! Only Ferrari have been there since day 1.

    Yes Minardi, Forte etc. were slow, but look at some of the drivers who got into the sport that way. How are new teams meant to get into the game if they can’t start at the bottom and try to work their way up?

  19. I think it was a stupid idea to implement a limitation to 13 teams in the concorde agreement. Back in the old days we had pre-qualifying and a natural selection.
    Everyone who owns a car fitting to the technical regulations should be allowed to show up at Bahrain. We still have a 107% rule and a 26 car grid so that wed see good racing with the advantage of new teams and new talents.

  20. “would constitute an infringement both of the Concorde Agreement and the FIA Regulations” translates to what sort of repercussions…?

Comments are closed.