Archive for the ‘FOTA’ Category

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Mosley Angry Over ‘Dictator’ Accusations

June 25, 2009

It has emerged that Max Mosley is re-thinking his position as president of the FIA after FOTA’s claims that he is a “dictator”, and that they have made “deliberate attempts” to mislead the media.

Mosley said only 24 hours ago that he would not be standing for re-election in October as part of an agreement with FOTA over the 2010 budget row. Now, it seems, he is angry over FOTA’s misleading statements to the press.

Mosley issued a letter to FOTA saying that if they did not correct the false statements made against him, with an apology, he would consider his options open, meaning he may well stand for re-election in October after all.

In a letter to FOTA president Luca di Montezemolo, he said: “You have suggested to the media that I was a “dictator”, an accusation which is grossly insulting to the 26 members of the World Motor Sports Council who have discussed and voted all the rules and procedures of Formula One since the 1980s.”

He added: “If you wish the agreement we made to have any chance of survival, you and FOTA must immediately retify your actions. You must correct the false statements which have been made and make no further such statements.”

He concluded: “Given your and FOTA’s deliberate attempt to mislead the media, I now consider my options open. At least until October, I am president of the FIA with the full authority of that office. After that it is the FIA members clubs, not you or FOTA, who will decide on the future leadership of the FIA.”

The letter throws the future of the sport in the balance once again.

It is believed the letter was sent prior to FOTA’s press conference in Bologna today, with Mosley hoping a correction and apology would be given then, however, it was not. For now, we shall have to wait and see what happens next.

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FOTA Want Neutral FIA President

June 25, 2009

After yesterday’s announcement that there would be only one F1 world championship next year, and that FIA president Max Mosley would be stepping down as of October this year, the teams are hoping for a neutral president to govern the sport next.

“We would like someone independent from any of us,” was the word from John Howett, FOTA’s vice-president and president of Toyota. “It would mean a much better balance.”

The statement comes a day after Mosley agreed to stepping down as president of the FIA, despite saying two days ago he would continue to stand for election when his current term of office runs out in October.

The teams will play no part in choosing his successor, however. That is the task of the World Motor Sport Council, and former Ferrari boss Jean Todt’s connection with the presidency role would be ruled out if the teams’ calling for a neutral president was to succeed.

Yesterday, FOTA president Luca di Montezemolo, told Italian media of the deal with Mosley: “The satisfaction is that all of our requests have been accepted.” He explained that for FOTA three things are important: that F1 remains as F1, that there is no dictator and there can be a choice of rules, and that whoever has a team is consulted and has a voice.

Toyota president, John Howett, said of the agreement: “I am pleased that FOTA’s proposals have been endorsed and approved by the WMSC,” adding: “This will ensure that we move forward on the basis of stable, proper governance.”

Bernie Ecclestone said that he was “very happy common sense has prevailed.”

It was revealed today, that Renault boss, Flavio Briatore, is to work with Ecclestone to finalise details for a new contract with commercial rights holder CVC, headed by Ecclestone; and to improve the experience for the fans of the sport.

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FIA and FOTA Reach an Agreement

June 24, 2009

After what seems like a lifetime of rowing between the FIA and FOTA, an agreement was finally made in Paris today at a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, over the F1 budget cap row.

Max Mosley has said that following talks between the F1 governing body, the FIA, and the Formula One Teams Association, FOTA, a breakthrough deal has been made that will prevent the sport from splitting in two.

The news comes after weeks of rowing between the two sides, with FOTA having delivered the most recent blow to the FIA, by announcing their plans to start up a breakaway series prior to the British Grand Prix at the weekend.

After the FIA announced the plans of a £40 million budget cap to be put in place in 2010, several of the teams, including Ferrari, declared they would quit F1 if such plans went ahead. After signing up to next year’s championship, subject to conditions, eight of the current F1 teams, led by FOTA, threatened to start up a rival championship last Friday, sparking a further war of words between Max Mosley and the teams.

Since his interview with BBC’s Jake Humphrey in Silverstone last Friday, many fans have slammed Mosley’s insult, referring to many of the teams, including Renault boss, Flavio Briatore, as “loonies”, as unprofessional, calling further for his resignation from the governing body. 

And after much speculation in Silverstone at the weekend, the warring bodies, led by Mosley and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo for FOTA, met this morning in Paris.

Mosley emerged saying that an agreement had been made and that part of the agreement involved him standing down as president in October, when his current term of office ends.

“There will be no split.” He said. “We have agreed to a reduction of costs. There will be one F1 championship but the objective is to get back to the spending levels of the early ’90s within two years.” He added: “I will not be up for re-election now we have peace.”

A statement from FOTA is yet to be heard, but for now it appears the war is over, and it looks like there will be only one world championship next year, and it is likely it won’t be led by Mosley. The rules will be set to remain as the 2009 regulations.

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The End of F1 As We Know It?

June 19, 2009

The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) today dropped a bombshell on the F1 world: they plan to set up a rival championship, after declining to amend their original conditional entries into the 2010 Formula One World Championship.

The row between FOTA and the FIA has intensified over the last week since the FIA issued their list of competitors for 2010.

Ferrari made that list as ‘unconditional’ entrants, with McLaren, Brawn and Renault among those down as ‘conditional’. The FIA required them to amend the conditions that they had attached to their applications for next season by today, however, after four hours of talks last night ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, FOTA came back in the early hours of the morning saying that the teams would not be lifting their conditions, and they intend to start up a rival championship.

Ferrari, Red Bull and Toro Rosso, who had made the FIA’s list as ‘unconditional’, are among the eight current F1 teams who have issued the threat. And all because the FIA want to impose a £40 million budget cap.

FOTA’s statement has shaken up the sport, and after weeks of threats from the teams, and with no compromise being made, they have taken extreme action, with many fans now saying the only solution is for the FIA to keep the 2009 regulations and enter all the current teams into the 2010 season in order to keep the sport as it is.

The row is the hot topic among many fans on Twitter, with many showing their support with Save F1 Max Out on their profiles. jayegan says: “I’m with FOTA- I’ve wanted Max out for about 3 years now.” MarkF1 says: “If a new series can keep the essence of the sport going it’s a good thing.”

The FIA, however, have issued a statement saying they plan to take immeditate legal action on FOTA, and in particular, Ferrari, who have breached their part of the Concorde Agreement, which was signed in 2007 stating their involvement within the sport until 2012. But this has sparked fury among F1 fans, with the suggestion that it was the FIA who breached the Concorde Agreement to begin with, by not consulting the teams of its plans for a change in the regulations, which in turn led Ferrari to breach their part of the contract.

The breakaway of eight teams could spell the end of Formula One as we know it, with former world champion Fernando Alonso telling the BBC: “Formula One is finished. It will be a standard engine, small teams and no drivers- this is not the Formula One people want.” He added: “The new series will be the new Formula One.”

FOTA’s statement said: “This series will have a transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans.” It added: “The major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series.”

With teams such as Ferrari and McLaren who have had a role in Formula One for many years- in the case of Ferrari, since the beginning- many fans may believe that F1 is the big teams, and whatever series they participate in, that is F1. If so, how long will the current F1 last? And will the FIA give in to the teams, to protect the integrity of the sport? Whatever happens, the stage is set for one of the biggest fights in the sport’s history… and it’s likely to be a lengthy fight at that… Don’t expect a resolution any time soon.

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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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Renault Join Threat to Quit F1

May 13, 2009

Renault have become the fourth team to threaten a pull-out at the end of the 2009 season unless plans for the £40 million budget cap are abandoned.

Yesterday Ferrari issued a statement declaring “No F1 in 2010 if the rules change.” Today, Renault boss Flavio Briatore said: “If the decisions announced by the FIA are not revised, we have no choice but to withdraw from the world championship at the end of 2009.”

The FIA’s plans hope to encourage new teams to enter their cars into the 2010 season, however, the proposals will ultimately mean that the teams who are able to limit themselves to the budget cap will have more technical freedom than those who don’t, subsequently splitting the field in two.

One of the advantages that would be available to capped teams would include a flexible rear wing, which, currently outlawed in the 2009 regulations, could see a capped team next season with a two second per lap advantage over an uncapped team.

Renault F1 team president, Bernard Rey has said the team cannot be in a championship where there are two different sets of rules operating together. A statement issued by the team said : “[The team] is also of the firm view that all entrants in the world championship must adhere to and operate under the same regulations.”

Yesterday, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo warned the budget cap would lead to a two-tier championship that could potentially be “fundamentally unfair and perhaps even biased”.

As it stands, with entries opening for sign-up to the 2010 season on May 22nd, and lasting until the 29th, the line up on the grid next March could look somewhat different to the line up five races ago, with the likes of Ferrari, Renault, Toyota and Red Bull not being there.

The threats of the last two days do not seem to be idle on either team’s part, posing a question over what is going to happen next. The teams are likely to meet with Max Mosley in the next week to discuss the plans, and the current dissatisfaction over their feelings that the FIA have failed to discuss the rule changes with them is also likely to be on the agenda.

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Ferrari Quit Threat

May 12, 2009

Ferrari have shaken up the world of F1 by announcing they will quit the sport if the £40 million budget cap goes ahead in 2010.

Ferrari’s fears of a two-tier system emerging between those teams accepting the budget cap and those who don’t, have prompted the threat which was announced today.

A statement issued by Ferrari said: “No F1 in 2010 if the rules change.” They have said they do not intend to enter their cars into next season if the budget cap remains.

Their position comes in light of the meeting between the board of directors in Maranello and ahead of planned talks with Max Mosley in London later this week.

The team have made their position clear: if the new regulations come in, the team goes. The regulations call for the current teams, and prospective teams for the 2010 championship, to enter their cars into the next season by May 29th, and confirm whether they wish to accept the budget cap. For the teams who accept the proposals, they will have more technical freedom in the 2010 season, with those declining having less freedom.

The threat will put Max Mosley’s previous claims to the test that the sport could carry on without Ferrari. For others, they do not see the team pulling out of the sport, but they have said their threats are not posturing.

Bernie Ecclestone dismissed claims that Ferrari would quit Formula One for good, telling the Times: “Ferrari are not stupid. They don’t want to leave Formula 1 and we don’t want to lose them, so we’ll get to grips with it.”

For the drivers, current champion Lewis Hamilton said he “could not imagine” the sport without Ferrari, and Renault’s Fernando Alonso said it would be “impossible” for it to happen.

Both Toyota and Red Bull had previously threatened to pull out of the sport if the rules do not change, but Ferrari’s threat has shaken the sport up, since they are the longest standing in F1, the most famous, and most successful.