Posts Tagged FOTA
How quickly things can change when people start getting dramatic. Just a few days ago the 8 biggest teams in Formula 1 (the eight remaining FOTA members) announced that they were starting their own breakaway series. They were reacting to Max Mosley (dictatorpresident of the FIA) who had made some outrageous demands for the 2010 Formula 1 championship. As it turns out, the teams were united to sign unconditionally for the 2010 season the day before they announced the breakaway series, but when the final paperwork arrived from Mosley the terms on it were not as it was discussed. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The teams were outraged, and caused them to make the announcement.
The final opportunity for reconciliation between the FIA and FOTA was yesterday, when they had a meeting in Paris. If this meeting didn’t go well, the plans for a split would have continued. Fortunately, it all went well. As it turns out, FOTA was able to sway the FIA to do what they want to them to do. Bernie Ecclestone (commercial rights holder of F1, who got stinking rich from that position) realised that without the FOTA teams F1 would lose most of the money coming into the sport. This fact is probably what swayed him to change his tune, and submit to the teams.
So what were the teams’ demands? First of all, they demanded that Max Mosley not stand for re-election as FIA president in October. Secondly, they demanded that F1 keep its current regulations for the time being, with a more gradual reduction in costs. The FIA agreed to all of this. All the current teams agreed to race in F1 until 2012, and the new teams will be helped to get up and running by the existing teams (as they demonstrated when they helped Brawn GP at the beginning of the season).
Hopefully what all this means is that we will see FOTA’s representation of F1. This means clear and transparent rules, and cost reductions. FOTA also demonstrated that when the teams stand together, they can force the FIA to do their bidding. Which does actually makes sense, considering the teams are the ones spending all the millions of pounds and carrying all the risk.
All in all I think this is the best possible result we could have gotten out of this mess. It was unfortunate that it was all very public, which did a lot of damage to the sport. But F1 will recover, and I believe within a year the sport will be better than ever.
The BBC and Autosport are both reporting that the 8 biggest teams in Formula 1 will be splitting from the sport to form their own series. FOTA (the Formula One Teams Alliance) has issued the following statement:
Since the formation of FOTA last September the teams have worked together and sought to engage the FIA and commercial rights holder, to develop and improve the sport.
Unprecedented worldwide financial turmoil has inevitably placed great challenges before the F1 community. FOTA is proud that it has achieved the most substantial measures to reduce costs in the history of our sport. In particular the manufacturer teams have provided assistance to the independent teams, a number of which would probably not be in the sport today without the FOTA initiatives.
The FOTA teams have further agreed upon a substantial voluntary cost reduction that provides a sustainable model for the future. Following these efforts all the teams have confirmed to the FIA and the commercial rights holder that they are willing to commit until the end of 2012.
The FIA and the commercial rights holder have campaigned to divide FOTA. The wishes of the majority of the teams are ignored. Furthermore, tens of millions of dollars have been withheld from many teams by the commercial rights holder, going back as far as 2006. Despite this and the uncompromising environment, FOTA has genuinely sought compromise.
It has become clear however, that the teams cannot continue to compromise on the fundamental values of the sport and have declined to alter their original conditional entries to the 2010 World Championship. These teams therefore have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new Championship which reflects the values of its participants and partners.
This series will have transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide, partners and other important stakeholders. The major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series.
Note to Eds: Statement issued by FOTA on behalf of BMW-Sauber, BrawnGP, Scuderia Ferrari, McLaren- Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Renault, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Toyota.
This is a very sad day for motor sport enthusiasts. Two seperate series, one having all the traditional circuits and the name Formula 1, and another having all the traditional cars, sponsors and drivers will result in two much weaker and more vulnerable series. I doubt that both series would be able to sruvive, and I hope the series that dies will be Formula 1 (never thought I’d say that). I fully support the teams and drivers, and completely oppose Max Mosley’s viewpoint that he can dictate the rules and change them any time he feels fit.
What makes this even worse is the legal battles that will be fought for years to come. Technically Ferrari, Red Bull and Toro Rosso are contractually bound to race in F1 until 2011 (that’s according to Mosley). The teams believe Mosley and the FIA has already broken the contract, and thus nullified this condition. There’s no doubt that this will be fought in court, and whoever loses will owe the winner hundreds of millions of dollars. No matter who’s right in this matter, it will be very messy and stretched out. Then there will be the battles over who has rights over which tracks, sponsorship deals, etc etc.
And then of course there’s the fans. The FIA has simply ignored what we want, which is to see Max Mosley leave his post, as well as transparent rules which is equal for everyone. We don’t want a two-tier championship. We don’t want to see a watered-down budget capped version of the sport. We want to see the pinnacle of motorsport, with equal rules for all. It’s as simple as that.
I can’t believe it’s come to this