More insight into FOTA

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Every F1 team is represented by FOTA
Every F1 team is represented by FOTA

Doctorvee has been extolling the virtues of the Inside Line Podcast so I upgraded it from the ‘stuff I download but never get around to listening to’ (dozens of different shows) to ‘stuff I actually do listen to’ (about three). And I’m glad I did.

A couple of weeks ago we looked at the teams’ efforts to form their own organisation called the Formula One Teams Association. The latest Inside Line Podcast has some interesting background on the discussions from Force India’s director of business affairs Ian Phillips:

Here’s Phillips’ account of why FOTA has been set up:

The teams collectively have been a rudderless and therefore they’ve been pushed around a bit. Principally by the FIA introducing, sort of randomly, new rules, and we find ourselves because of it not operating under the umbrella of a Concorde Agreement*. It’s a situation where really no-one feels very comfortable, we feel vulnerable, to a point of having to spend money unnecessarily, potentially.

And so, with everything that’s been going on within the sport, with the FIA and Mosley and all the rest of it Bernie’s been pushing – for some while now, it has to be said, over a year – for the teams to get together as one and re-create the old FOCA**, if you like, and finally, finally, finally, it came to pass on Tuesday of this week.

They all met down at the romantic setting of Maranello which tends to melt a few hearts and get people thinking as one and not thiking about their own personal positions. The Formula One Teams Association was born under the presidency of Luca di Montezemolo of Ferrari so that we can negotiate together the technical regulations for future.

This was brought about by a letter from Max Mosley to the teams in the week of the British Grand Prix which stated rather boldly that F1 at present is unsustainable and if teams didn’t do sometihng about writing regs he, Max Mosley, was going to. That pur fear of God up everybody – as it was meant to do. As 10 individuals there was not a chance so Bernie orchestrated the creation of FOTA and hopefully they’ll get their heads down over the next six to eight weeks.

It can only be for good of F1 that’s for sure.

To hear the interview in full download the Hungarian Grand Prix edition of the Inside Line Podcast and fast-forward to the 26 minute mark. Phillips also talks about how the teams view the question of Mosley’s suitability to run the FIA given the recent scandal and the threat of a recession.

What I thought was especially interesting to hear was how long Bernie Ecclestone has been pushing the teams to form their own group. So what’s his interest in having the teams represent themselves more effectively?

I wrote a long post looking at the formation of FOTA here: Why have the teams formed their own group and what does it mean for F1?

*The commercial agreement by which F1 has been run
**Formula One Constructors’ Association

PS. There’s also an iTunes link for the Inside Line Podcast in case you need that.