Most of the Formula 1 fans around the world are fed up with all the politics surrounding the sport as Formula 1 plunges itself from one crisis to another. Not long ago did Formula 1 avert a breakaway series by the GPMA when they managed to lure Ferrari into splitting from the GPMA and signing with FOM and the FIA.
This time, it is Ferrari who are leading FOTA and demanding that the FIA drop its 2010 F1 regulations and let the teams provide input on the cost cutting measures to ensure the survival of Formula 1 in this economic climate.
Following the publishing of the 2010 entry list and the inclusion of Ferrari and the 2 Red Bull teams without conditions despite those teams specifically stating that their applications are conditional, the crisis has moved into another level.
Including Ferrari on the list despite Ferrari’s objections seems to be an attempt by the FIA to try and cause more teams to split from FOTA but what this move seems to have done is that it has infuriated Ferrari so much that they along with the other FOTA members as well as the European Automobile Manufacturers have called for changing the way the FIA is governing F1. (FOTA press release)
Ferrari’s President Luca Montezemolo wants to talk to “responsible people inside the FIA who understand the situation” clearly indicating that Ferrari cannot deal with nor trust Max Mosley anymore. Montezemolo went even further and declared that without an agreement with the FIA, an alternative series will be setup by the manufacturers.
Why doesn’t FOTA trust Max Mosley. Well just 6 months ago he agreed with the teams to work together on implementing a cost cutting program in F1. 3 months later he announced unilateral cost cutting measures. And last week he decided to list Ferrari and the 2 Red Bull teams on the 2010 entry list unconditionally despite requests from Ferrari not to do so.
So what happens next. Friday the 19th of June is the next deadline as the FIA will either remove the 5 conditional FOTA entries (McLaren, BMW Sauber, Renault, Toyota and Brawn) or confirm them. They cannot extend the date any further.
Removing the 5 FOTA teams will almost ensure that a rival series would be announced almost immediately. Confirming the 5 FOTA teams will mean that their demands have been met or at least a compromise has been reached.
The FIA does feel the pressure and their latest press release tries to portray ‘elements in FOTA’ as the ones trying not to reach agreement. And by the FIA’s own admission, both parties are in agreement on the 2010 regulations, the objectives of the two on cost cutting are very close and on the issue of governance, a suggestion to extend the concorde agreement to 2014 was well received. Reading this, one wonders why was their a crisis in the first place but then again, it appears that the difference now is on governance, an issue that has taken center stage due to the provocative actions of Max Mosley.
Despite the FIA and FOTA being very close, the situation remains critical and with both sides trying to explain their positions, it appears that the next step will (sadly) be a split but there are a few more days left before the 19th and so lets hope a solution is found.