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Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey called team principals to a meeting at Suzuka on Sunday morning to discuss the future direction of grand prix racing.
The timing is intriguing as it follows the team bosses meeting on their own on Friday, with no representation from the F1 or FIA, for the first time since the Malaysian Grand Prix in October 2017.
The feeling among the team bosses was that it would be valuable for them to meet without the other key stakeholders, and in an informal environment without the strict agenda that dominates strategy group discussions.
The general thrust of the conversation is understood to be about how to improve the show, for example by ensuring there are multiple strategic options and more pitstops.
The meeting was also an interesting political move amid ongoing discussions about the sporting, technical and commercial direction of F1.
In effect, the teams were aligning their interests in preparation for what could be a complicated and prolonged debate.
This clearly piqued the interest of F1’s leadership, meaning Carey’s Sunday morning invitation could be viewed an attempt to find out what the teams are thinking and to provide more detail on the long-term plans in an informal setting.
“Basically, we had the same discussion all over again,” said one team boss of today’s meeting.
“We agreed we should meet more often. It was very productive.”
Mercedes was not represented because Toto Wolff had a prior commitment at his team’s race strategy briefing.
After the meeting, Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene joined Christian Horner and Helmut Marko in Red Bull hospitality for further discussions.