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FIA Announces Prospective 2010 Line-Up

June 12, 2009

The FIA has published the entry list for the 2010 Formula One World Championship and perhaps the most surprising teams on the list are Ferrari, Red Bull and Toro Rosso, who despite signing up to next season, “subject to conditions”, their entry is ‘unconditional’, whereas McLaren, Brawn and Renault, are ‘conditional’ entrants, even though their signing was “subject to conditions” as well.

So, how do Ferrari feel about this? Who else is on the list? And what happens next?

Since the FIA announced its plans for a budget cap of £40 million as off 2010, the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) have been opposing the plans, with teams such as Ferrari, Red Bull, Toyota and Renault threatening to quit Formula One if the regulations weren’t changed prior to them signing up for the next season. They have stated that the FIA has broken a contract called the Concorde Agreement, and failed to involve the teams with their plans for the regulation change.

The FIA required the current teams wishing to enter next season, and any new teams wishing to apply to join them, to do so before May 29th. Williams and Force India both signed up to the next season, budget cap or not, however the rest of the current teams signed up on the condition that the FIA re-evaluated their plans for the cap next year.

The FIA and FOTA have been in talks over the cap, with intentions for a compromise to be sort, with mention of staggering in the cap over the next couple of years.

However, Ferrari’s inclusion, which was top of the list, caused disappointment within the team. It appears, however, that the Scuderia may be obliged to remain within F1 until 2012 under the Concorde Agreement, hence their appearance on the list, and despite their conditional entry. 

The team have released a statement saying they will not be participating in the 2010 championship until the conditions of their entry are satisfied. The FIA say their contract to race next year is binding. The team added: “Despite Ferrari’s previous written notice to the FIA not to do so, the FIA has included Ferrari as an unconditional participant in next year’s Formula One World Championship.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, Ferrari reaffirms that it shall not take part in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship under the regulations adopted by the FIA in violation of Ferrari’s rights under a written agreement with the FIA.”

FOTA’s conditions were that the 2009 regulations be applied to next season, and as the FIA have not confirmed the terms in which Ferrari or indeed any of the ‘unconditional’ teams have been accepted into the 2010 season on, we can only assume that they, along with Red Bull and Toro Rosso, who also entered under FOTA’s conditions, have been accepted in on that basis. Williams, Force India and the three new teams are believed to have been entered under the new regulations for 2010.

For the ‘conditional’ teams, McLaren, Brawn, Renault, Toyota and BMW, their entry into next season is still uncertain, and the final decision should be reached by June 19th following further negotiations.

For Ferrari the only way forward for them now is to take the decision to court.

Former F1 commentator for ITV, James Allen, said on his website, jamesallenonf1, today: “I expected them to be angry about what the FIA has done, here but they are not. They are disappointed, but they are not budging in their convictions nor in their path. So the positions are fairly entrenched now and it will either take a legal battle or a piece of mediation on a spectacular scale to sort this out.”

For Ferrari, this battle is far from over, and at present, for many of the other current F1 teams, their future within the sport hangs in the balance. FOTA have issued a statement saying that in their opinion this is a turn-off for the fans. They said that the conditions “have still yet to be met.”

For three of the current teams on the list, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Brawn, it has not been confirmed what engines will be provided to the cars next year, again, causing uncertainty.

However, three teams who have benefited from this argument, are the three new teams entering the 2010 season. Campos Grand Prix, headed by former F1 driver, Adrian Campos; Manor Grand Prix; and Team US F1, led by Peter Windsor. All three teams will be powered by the Cosworth engine, which will make its return to F1 since leaving at the end of 2006. Team US F1, say they are close to revealing the names of their drivers.

Prodrive, who lodged an entry for 2010, but failed to make the top 13, claim they are not giving up on joining the other teams next year. And if any of the ‘conditional’ teams do not lift their conditions, as invited by the FIA, then they could be in with a chance.

For now, the future of F1 and the line-up of the 2010 grid remains uncertain, with the question of when this will be resolved, remaining unanswered.

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