The teams, Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone met to discuss or negotiate a way out of the current crisis that is threatening to destroy Formula 1 as we know it. There were conflicting signals after the meeting, on one hand, it appears that everyone including Max have agreed that a two-tier competition will not go ahead which is a very big relief to everyone as no one wanted to see that. On the other hand though, no agreement was reached on the issue of budget caps and both sides are still sticking to their positions.
Max has sent a number of mixed signals after the meeting, he said that the 31st of May deadline to submit entries for 2010 is flexible yet again said that F1 can survive without Ferrari.
Ferrari are not just making press releases, they are also fighting this through the courts and are hoping that the courts can rule in their favour and stop the FIA from pushing these rules through.
It looks like Ferrari are serious about this and the other teams will find comfort in that particularly as just a few years ago Ferrari did a U-turn and turned its back on the other manufacturers and sided with Bernie during the GPMA vs FIA crisis when there was a serious threat that F1 would split. This time with Ferrari taking the FIA to court and with Luca Montezemolo the head of FOTA, it is certain they will stand with the teams.
The meeting on Friday has certainly made things easier as there is now just one issue that needs solving as there was agreement on dropping the two-tier system. It is just the budget cap now. On that they aren’t any closer and with a number of teams unhappy with the idea, it seems unlikley that a resolution will be reached anytime soon.
One has to wonder though, why is Max pushing this ? There have already been dramatic cuts in costs and FOTA have taken the initiative and made a number of proposals to cut costs further over the next few years. And given that Max has pushed through the concept of KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) and has forced the teams to spend millions of dollars on it, I would question Max’s motives, is he just worried that FOTA is too strong for his comfort particularly that they seem to have survived the ‘double decker’ diffuser crisis that threatened its split ? Is this just about showing them who has more power ?
This time he may have gone too far.