With next Friday’s deadline looming, FOTA have to quickly decide on the path it is to take in this crisis.
On Tuesday FOTA sent a letter to the FIA and FOM asking for modifications to the way the budget cap is policed and requested a two week extension so that a new Concorde Agreement is finalised.
The FIA responded by insisting that the teams enter unconditionally by Friday then find a resolution.
The FIA’s position hasn’t changed from last Friday and now the next move is up to FOTA.
So what are FOTA’s options:
Enter unconditionally and accept the FIA rules – This option basically means that all the objections they had weren’t serious and they were just hoping for a change. This option will result in FOTA ceasing to exist as an association as it proved that it has no effect.
Sticking to their position and asking the FIA to reconsider – If FOTA are serious about their cause then they will have to take this path and see what the FIA will do once the deadline passes. Taking this path though will require a very united FOTA otherwise they risk a number of teams defecting.
By taking this path, FOTA will have to be ready to announce an alternative series as soon as the FIA announces an amended entry list without the FOTA teams. (Ferrari and the 2 Red Bull teams will also have to look at the legal implications as they have agreements with the FIA and FOM)
Each FOTA team does what they feel – If FOTA cannot agree on a way forward, they could ask each team to do what they feel is best for them. This way the teams that don’t strongly object will enter, those who strongly object or cannot commit due to financial reasons will pull out.
This would be the worst option as Formula 1 could potentially lose Ferrari, Toyota, Renault and even BMW Sauber
From the tone of the letter that was sent by FOTA to the FIA, it showed they were vulnerable. Whether that was real or just a tactic will remain to be seen. It is most likely that they will accept the FIA rules by Friday unless they are really united.