Date:Monday March 11 2013
Formula One's governing body the FIA have officially confirmed that this seasons F1 World Championship will be competed over 19 races.
The news was completely expected, the FIA had initially jiggled with the calendar following the postponement of the New Jersey street race to create a window for an additional race, however a host circuit could not be agreed.
The European Grand Prix had already been dropped from the 2013 calendar, which had meant that an additional race in Europe perhaps in Turkey, Portugal or Austria appeared preferable and rumours were abound regarding all three tracks, but eventually no agreements could be reached.
Thankfully though that doesn't appear to be the case in regards to discussions over a new Concorde Agreement.
The inevitable politics of course do come into play which always slows down the process.
The latest talks involves a new Concorde Agreement and Resource Restriction Agreement [RRA], which when eventually agreed, will be used from next season and right through to 2020.
The talks are crucial in regards to how the sport will be governed over the next few years with the FIA putting forward proposals on entry fees, cost control and a new governance structure.
Obviously all the teams will have their own views, depending on which part of the grid they operate from and whether or not they are a manufacturer or a team.
For example Mercedes and Ferrari might want one thing as a team and engine manufacturer, whilst McLaren and Red Bull are likely to want another.
The politics then take centre stage over which teams will compromise first in order for an agreement to be reached.
All the Formula One teams, FIA president Jean Todt and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone met in Paris in October and talks remain ongoing, no agreements were met, but things according to the FIA at least, appeared to be positive.
It's unclear just how far further forward the talks have now progressed.
With less than a week remaining before the new season, all the teams with the exception of Marussia have agreed to the commercial element of the new deal, but as ever regulatory elements remain the sticking point.
'It was noted that the negotiations over the Concorde Agreement were proceeding positively in order to be concluded in the near future.' the FIA told Sky Sports following a World Motor Sport Council meeting.
The FIA did however announce the creation of a Drivers' Commission which aims to represent the rights and interests of drivers across all the motor sport formulas.
Former Three-times F1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi has been named as the body's new President, whilst 1992 F1 1992 World Champion Nigel Mansell, former HRT driver Karun Chandhok and Maria de Villota have been named as the single-seater representatives.
Date:Monday March 11 2013
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