The FIA must not let its row with Ferrari become a split that would destroy F1

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Ferrari are threatening to leave F1 in 2010 - and so are many other teams
Ferrari are threatening to leave F1 in 2010 - and so are many other teams

The Ferrari board confirmed today it will pull its team out of F1 if the FIA does not back down on its controversial plans for the 2010 rules.

Toyota and Red Bull/Toro Rosso have already voiced the same objections and several F1 news sites are indicating that Mercedes, Renault and BMW are prepared to do the same.

Once again, F1 is threatened by the prospect of a split. Might it ever come to that ?ǣ or is this just the sports? governing body and the teams playing hard ball?

The FIA’s plan to introduce advantageous technical rules for budget capped teams is at the heart of the matter.

Ferrari’s statement makes reference to its displeasure at how the FIA has handled the regulations talks, which seems a thinly-veiled criticism of Max Mosley’s governance with the FIA president elections five months away.

The importance of Ferrari

It is hard to believe Mosley would seriously be happy with driving Ferrari away.

At the same meeting where the budget cap was announced the FIA confirmed it would ban in-race refuelling from 2010. The teams had lobbied hard for this because of the cost of transporting 20 refuelling rigs around the world.

Mosley stood his ground at first, insisting that refuelling was a vital part of ??The Show?. If he can?t see that, for a large number of fans, Ferrari are a much more important part of ??The Show?, then he shouldn?t be running F1.

One man who does understand how important Ferrari are is Bernie Ecclestone. He?s been conspicuously trying to build bridges between the teams and the FIA since last week when Mosley uttered those infamous ?ǣ and patently incorrect – words that F1 would not suffer without Ferrari.

Similarly, Ecclestone understands the importance of keeping the major car manufacturers in F1. Not only do they bring a substantial amount of money into Formula 1, but there are suggestions some of his deals with broadcasting companies are contingent upon teams like Ferrari appearing at the races.

Can budget capping work?

The FIA’s Tony Purnell has admitted that ??30m (the original proposed budget limit) is the minimum they calculate an F1 team can be run for. A sensible solution to get to that limit would involve the teams gradually cutting their expenditure from one year to the next.

Instead Mosley has chosen the route of maximum antagonism – demanding teams slash their budgets by 90% overnight to hit a ??40m limit (excluding marketing fees and driver salaries).

But all that pre-supposes that budget capping is feasible to begin with.

The FIA cannot demand that all F1 teams adhere to a budget cap as it cannot legally assume the right to inspect their finances. That’s why it has adopted the ‘two-tier’ solution – offering teams that voluntarily choose the budget cap massive performance advantages.

But the teams were never going to accept such an obvious manipulation of the rules without a fight.

The danger of a split

Some fans have suggested they would like to see a FOTA-led split in F1, with the car manufacturers forming their own series.

They ignore the lessons of history at their peril. Such a split destroyed the open-wheel racing scene in America. The once strong Indy Car championship has been relegated to the status of a minor national championship in America since its 1995 division.

A split in F1 would not only be a tragedy for the sport, but the whole of motor racing. There are no other major international motor racing championships that are a fraction as popular. The fans, the teams, the FIA, the money men – we would all be losers in this scenario.

Instead of petitioning for a split (which rather smacks of turkeys voting for Christmas) fans should be campaigning for an outbreak of common sense in the upper echelons of the sport.

The only sensible way to resolve this is for Luca di Montezemolo, as head of FOTA, to hammer out an agreement with Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone. I do not believe that Ecclestone and Mosley are any more likely to let Ferrari go now than they were four years ago, when they handed over $100m to keep them in the sport until 2012 (Where was Mosley’s “we don’t need Ferrari” sentiment then?)

FOTA need to get their act together and find a candidate for the October FIA election who will work with them, not against them. It is time F1 were governed responsibly without every little disagreement making international headlines and destroying the sport’s credibility.

143 comments on “The FIA must not let its row with Ferrari become a split that would destroy F1”

  1. F1 will not do without Ferrari.

    But

    It would do nicely without Mosley.

    1. Yep, and without Bernie…

    2. It would be interesting to see if it’s possible for F1 to live without Ferrari. however it would help immensely if Mosley was replaced soon.

      I have a feeling that if Todt were to become FIA president, things would run very smoothly, we have to remember that as much as he is a Ferrari man, he is a dedicated professional, that has excelled in every job he has done so far.

      however, if Ferrari does end up splitting and splintering into FIA GT, and other series they will still be under FIA authority most possibly, and they will always clash with FIA at some point.

      In my case i would keep watching f1, because at the end it will make the most sense even without the reds…
      p.s: I’ve been a dedicated Ferrari fan since the 1995 season… (after Senna died actually)but firstly I’m an F1 fan…

    1. LMAO @ Clive hahaha

  2. think its time to get rid of mosley and maybe even Bernie who is just stealing money from the sport

    1. From how i understand it Bernie took all of his money out when he sold out to CVC (he now gets paid a wage – all be it a very hansom one!!!!)

      However i do agree that CVC are stealing money and unfortantly that is not going to change as they have borrowed so much money against F1 as an asset there hands are tied. Also as a side note if CVC dont get paid so much money either due to less revenues from circuits or else then F1 could effectivly be repossed like any asset by the banks one of which is RBS and sold to the highest bidder (i actually think that this is not such a remote a suggestion as it seems) as CVC has borrowed way to much since 1999-2007 CVC bought 52 companies all of which they borrowed almost 100% of the sale price.

      And just to show these are not small companies these are only the UK companies that CVC own;
      – Acromas (the AA and Saga)
      – Debenhams
      – Gartland Whalley and Barker (Huge Devloper)
      – Hozelock
      – IG Group (Spread Betting Firm)
      – PC Cox Limited (Engineering Firm)
      – Oh and F1!!!!!

      Lets remember these are only the UK companies now all of these companies are suffering from CVC massive debt if you were CVC and had to let one go which one would you let fail – my bet would be on F1

      So in conclusion to my very long winded post (i am sorry)
      – CVC have to keep taking too much money out of F1 to pay debt (milking F1 to 120%)
      – CVC may have to sell F1 if the money crisis goes on to long.

      If only F1 was owned by the teams and not by CVC they could take a 85% stake of the Profit instead of 50% and then they could have a 100million budget of which 60million could easily come from TV revenue. But if that was the case Bernie would not be a billionare.

    2. I agree with Chris here, and he has outlined it beautifully, I would add that had the teams been a little more prudent over the last decade, and the FIA acted sooner, then this particular episode would be a storm in a teacup, so it,s no good blaming individuals as they are only the figureheads. My personal thought is that F1 can live on without Ferrari, or the other manufacturers, in what form I’m not sure, but the infrastructure that brings it to the world is well sorted, and sure, the audiences may dwindle, should the big names withdraw, but the manufacturers are always on the verge of pulling out, albeit not Ferrari. New names would emerge, and providing the show was still as strong maybe the audience could be built back up. One thought would be: Find a really good Chinese driver, in a Chinese backed car, there’s half the audience already….

  3. F&*K the FIA F&*K Mosley. We definitely need some restructuring at the top of that food chain. We the fans should form a petition to oust Max and his tyranny once and for all.

    1. this petition is dated from 05 and dosen’t even have 200 signatures lol

    2. its very old!!!so many unpleasant events have occured after 2005. spygate,spankgate,chichanegate,diffusergate,capgate. are these online petitions are of any worth? its just a waste of server space. i’ll bemax will continue to destroy f1 as he likes. he’ll be even more upset after his son’s death. all that anger will show on the sport. max mosley reminds me of a very well know dictator. that dictator wanted to rule the world,just like how mosley expects the teams to bow down to his demands. this budget cap thing is pure blackmailing by mosley. i’m really astonished to know that he has not even spared ferrari!! it is because of the teams like ferrari,mclaren,williams the sport is so famous.he’s shooting himself in the feet. please max get back to your senses. if he continues in the same manner,it’ll not be long before he ends up at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences hospital.

  4. Surely Teams with big budgets spend money with countless other businesses, ultimately providing work for thousands of people worldwide.

    Cap their budgets to £40 million and the cost cutting will surly result in businesses currently involved in F1 loosing out?

    Let them spend, and let the sport live!

  5. I am not a Ferrari fan by any measure, but I agree with Keith and many of you that it is essential for Ferrari to be an active and healthy participant in the championship. Many aspects of the sport are so strongly connected to Ferrari that their loss as a participating constructor is perhaps the one that absolutely cannot be allowed to happen.

    I agree with Max that cost-cutting has to be accomplished, but the gradual step-down approach is indeed the best idea. It’s very difficult for teams that spend big money to stop spending it, and I’m sure a reasonable step-down approach could be worked out if some common-sense logic was applied.

    Lastly, the point about the split destroying the IndyCar series is absolutely correct. The new version is better than the two separate series, but is nowhere near the level it was before the split.

  6. I would love to see Ron Dennis stand for the FIA election, the look on Moselys face alone would be priceless.

    1. Nooooo…..Maquiavelo!!!!!

    2. Dignified men stay away from FIA.

  7. Perhaps if we had budget capping we would not have lost Jordan, Minardi, Arrows, Tyrell, Lotus, Ligier/Prost, Marcdh, Super Aguri etc?

    1. Perhaps but in a sense I think that asks a more interesting question – why have the FIA waited so long to act?

      F1 entry numbers have been 22 or lower since 1995 (with one exception – see hre F1 season driver entries, 1980-2009). Yet the FIA persisted for years with its $48m bond for new teams, stopping them from entering. It allowed Cosworth to be priced out of F1 engine supplies only four years ago, and is now trying to bring them back.

      Low team numbers has been a problem for over a decade – Mosley has for whatever reason chosen to ignore it until now.

    2. I agree with you guys, and I believe the tipping point was Honda’s exit from the sport last year. Until that point, I think there were many people who always believed there would be big companies with plenty of cash lining up to enter the sport. When one of those apparently indestructible entries went under, the panic alarms started sounding….

    3. Keith Collantine

      Low team numbers has been a problem for over a decade

      Why have they been a problem?

    4. The fewer cars you have in a race the less entertaining it is – and F1’s been below its upper limit on entries (26/24 at different times) for well over a decade.

      Then you have the vulnerability issue – the fewer teams you have, the more of a concern it is if one pulls out. Hence the very real fears this winter that Honda’s pull-out would leave F1 with only 18 competitors.

    5. The fewer cars you have in a race the less entertaining it is

      I think that’s misguided belief if you’ll excuse me for saying so, it doesn’t take into account the relative competitiveness of the cars or drivers, the technological prowess of the cars, the nature of the circuits, the standard of television coverage or what people actually find entertaining.

      Would say IndyCar is more entertaining than F1 because it has more competitors?

  8. Phil – that would be fantastic actually! I still like the idea of JYS, unfortunately the Fred Goodwin stuff has made him look a little foolish…. Actually I hear he’s out of a job….

    What about Brundle? Or DC? Or even the Cobbler?

  9. I wouldn’t mind seeing Ferrari out of F1. Most of their fans are glory hunters anyway.

    In a few years time, someone will be on top and it will be Ferrari who?

    1. I am not a Ferrari fan by any means but I do support them because I support Massa and any Brazilian driver in fact, Rubens and (swallow) Pique Jr. But I don’t think that Ferrari leaving is good for anyone. That’s like NASCAR without Chevy, it’s just not right. Even thought I don’t even watch NASCAR, I still know that Chevy plays a huge part in that sport.

  10. But it won’t be a split if all teams go away!

    It would be just a get away from the FIA and Mosley.

    1. At the moment it looks like seven would leave and three would stay (Williams, Brawn and Force India).

  11. I can’t say I’d miss Ferrari, or that I think they make F1. But I could say the same about Moseley

    1. Actually, if we want a clown to head the FIA, I think Murry Walker would be ideal

  12. Oh dear did the little Ferrari start losing, does it think it can stamp its little feet and get its own way…..ah wont it be able to buy its way out of incompetence….ah bless.

    F1 does not depend on Ferrari and McLaren winning.

    F1 survived the loss of BRM (who?), Cooper, Vanwall, Maseratti, Auto Union, Alfa Romeo or even the holy of holy Lotus.

    Of course they wont leave F1 its posturing, they need F1 to sell their kit cars to rich people.

    1. Oh yes and all the other Moyletra beat me to……he make a brilliant point I think. The huge sums Ferrari spent have ruined the integrity of the sport.

    2. The huge sums Ferrari spent have ruined the integrity of the sport.

      I think that’s nonsense – Ferrari aren’t even the biggest spenders: Toyota has $445.6m F1 budget.

      There has never previously been a constraint on what teams could spend, so why should they have limited it before hand? Unless they wanted to lose, which is hardly the ethos of Formula 1, is it?

    3. Indeed Keith, we could point to Toyota’s mega-contract with Ralf as perhaps the biggest waste of money in F1 history- sorry Clare ;)

    4. What about the Mike Gascoigne mega contract that all ended rather hillariously.

    5. I agree F1 does not depend on Ferrari and McLaren winning.

      But I think it does depend on them being there, half the fun at the moment is the fact they are both being beaten (despite being a Kimi fan).

      I’m not a glory supporter, I’m not even a Ferrari supporter as far as I’m concerned they are dirty cheaters (well they were when they had Ross Brawn to take the rules to their limits and win an argument when brought up on it by the FIA) but I’ve followed my driver from Sauber/McLaren and now to the red team.

      If the FIA want to keep pleasing all the casual fans out there, then allowing the majority of the big names to leave will ruin the sport.

  13. Well, F1 has lived another life cycle, and is getting ready to start a new one. Like when Ballestre was ousted.

    Ron Dennis has moved on, Jean Todt has moved on, to say nothing of Eddie Jordan, Jackie Stewart and many others of that generation. It’s time for Bernie&Max to move on as well.
    F1 can’t really be run by people who should have been safely retired years ago. New blood is needed to keep it vigorous!

  14. HounslowBusGarage
    12th May 2009, 20:55

    Well I wonder what the real agendae are (I think the plural is agendae!).
    Is FOTA including Ferrari deliberately playing hardball at this stage in order to put pressure on Mosley to relax the limit a bit, maybe delay it for another season. Or is the FOTA threat “You agree to retire Max, and we will sign up to race next year”?
    Or maybe it’s a real money-based threat. Toyota, Mercedes Benz and FIAT are all losing money, so maybe they are all looking for a face-saving way of exiting the sport – something like “We cannot work with the budget cap, or Max or Bernie, so wer’re leaving” rather than “We can longer afford it”.
    Is Max knocking down the FOTA objections one by one, like a good salesman. Is he going to close the price like this – “So you agree that some kind of cap is a good idea?”
    “Yes Max.”
    “But £60m is too low?”
    “Yes Max.”
    “But otherwise you’d go for it?”
    “Yes Max”
    “So what would you accept? £100m”
    “Maybe £120m we could do, Max”
    “£120 it is gentlemen! Sign here.”
    And then next season, the cap goes down to £90m.

    1. ‘Agenda’ is the plural – ‘agendum’ is the singular. So each person may have an agendum or multiple agenda. :-)

      I wish Max would do the decent thing and stick with his agreement not to stand again, but he’s not very familiar with the concept of decency is he?

    2. If it was money related then they would all be chomping at the bit to sign up.

      I wish Max would do the decent thing and stick with his agreement not to stand again, but he’s not very familiar with the concept of decency is he?

      Totally agree!

    3. You say agenda and I say agendas….

    4. @ HounslowBusGarage LynnD

      Agenda is latin for ‘the things that must be done’

      at some point someone thought of writing ‘these’ down in a book, and then to order them by date, like a calendar. They still kept to calling it ‘the agenda’ in English, until the word had become synonymous with the book.

      Nowadays, english dictionaries will list agenda as a singular word, and agendas as its plural form. The english langauge contains an enormous vocabulary, but ‘agendum’ is no part of it and could therefore only be used when indicating that it is an unintegrated loan word. So people may have an ‘agendum’ or multiple ‘agenda’, which they may wish to write down in their agendas.
      Since the people involved in this powerbrokering game each have a different series of interests to consider, they are said each to ‘have a different/separate agenda’, nad when one person appears not to defend his proper interests, one may suspect he has ‘more than one agenda’.

      Agendae is also correct in Latin, but it means either ‘from the female (thing) that must be done/processed’, ‘for/to the female (thing) that must be done/processed’ or ‘the female(-s/ things) that must be done/processed)’. None of these is applicable since one speaks of things that must be done in general, the gender of which is irrelevant, hence the neutral form.

      writing or saying agendae is probably one of the worst expressions of pseudo-intellect, because it is incorrect in both english and latin.

    5. lmao Bas that has to be the best post I’ve read today on any message board on any site. Hilarious! Normally I despise posts by grammar Nazi’s but I think a lecture in etymology falls firmly outside such realms, very interesting and very funny.

  15. I’ve been advocating a split for a while now. I cannot see how F1 can continue while Mosley who seems to really think he is bigger than the teams and fans, is in charge. I agree with Keith that it would be tragic, but how can you drum sense into someone like Mosley? If you could, Ferrari wouldn’t be doing what they are doing now. They realise it just could be a hopeless case. Mosley needs to go because his intransigence is ruining F1. I’m not a Ferrari fan, but it isn’t just Ferrari who isn’t happy – it seems that all the teams, the drivers and the fans aren’t happy with a 2 tier system either. F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and although we are in a recession, cutting back on staff and implementing rule changes every year thus spending more money, is certainly not helping the economy or the reputation of F1. I say the idiots who voted Mosley in again after his sordid scandal should be hanging their heads in shame. There was a real opportunity there to sweep out the rubbish. Maybe just maybe a breakaway series might work if all the teams were involved. I don’t know but it can’t be worse than this circus show.

  16. Keith Collantine: If there is no budget cap there will be no F1 – its simple. One maybe two big corporations slugging it out with no one watching.

    Its no answer to say there has never been a budget cap before – there has never been global financing on this scale before. Why did the FIA wait so long – they were getting off on the big money like everyone else.

    1. If there is no budget cap there will be no F1

      Well all of us are talking about costs, when the main issue are REVENUES.

      As far as I know, the biggest part of the total revenues are managed by FOM, not by FIA.

      Max Mosley is acting as “the bad cope”. Is Bernie who should negociate with FOTA a new Concorde Agreement, he (Bernie) is representing CVC interests.

      Meanwhile, all of us (FANS) are quite busy talking about costs, technical regulations…

    2. Well all of us are talking about costs, when the main issue are REVENUES.

      As far as I know, the biggest part of the total revenues are managed by FOM, not by FIA.

      Good point – it’s two sides of the same coin, really, if the teams were getting more money then it stands to reason the cap could be higher. When the FIA announced the £40m it had been increased by £10m, but suddenly Ecclestone was offering the teams an extra £10m, so arguably there was no material difference.

  17. Without those old teams like Ferrari, McLaren and Williams F1 would begin falling apart. Especially if they were to break away, take other teams with them, and Launch another elite motorsport series such as GP1 or something like that. Hell, Ron Dennis and Jean Todt could run it! ;)

  18. I would say that Formula One could stand the loss of a team like Ferrari, it would just take a few years for the sport to get used to it. Formula One is bigger than any one team, and should not be held to ransom by it.
    However at a time like this i do not think F1 should lose one of it’s biggest assets. I stopped being a Ferrari F1 team admirer the day Schumacher joined them because he had already started to ruin F1 when he was at Benneton.
    As for the fans wishing for FOTA to go it alone and make a new series, it is really just asking for the removal of the two elements causing the biggest upset to formula one in recent years (however much you may think Bernie has done for the sport in the past).For one thing, if all teams agreed to a split from F1 then it would not be a split as was the case with indy car. It would mean the same sport we have now with the same teams and more perhaps. We would just have the sport we love run, hopefully, with better rules and better management, with a fairer share of the money generated from and for the sport and the teams and the tracks and the fans.
    It would be wrong to say that a different series for all the teams would be bad. But i do think that what the fans really want is to get rid of Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone as they are seen to be the ones responsible for the downturn in the quality of F1 these days.
    All these rules changes year in and year out just undermine the soul of the sport.

    What is needed is a level headed and clear approach to running F1 for the future. Some one needs to be in charge of FIA who can be seen to run the sport in a fair way.
    In the end what if F1 without it’s fan base if they all leave because none of the fan’s teams are there to support?

  19. None of the manufacturer’s have said the will leave due to the huge cost’s involved in the sport.These statements are only coming from MAX.The lose of FERRARI would be the largest sporting story ever!People must realise that even if the don’t like ferrari they have the largest fan base of any team in the world.The TV companies know this and the track owners know this MAX & BERNIE wouldn’t have much fun selling their product without the largest draw card on the sideline’s.

    1. Indeed. The whole Abu Dhabi event is shaped around Ferrari for example.

  20. yay, we’re going to have US GP 2005 all year round!!

  21. I can see F1 Living with out Ferrari or many of the other big names if need be. There are others out there who will be waiting in the back to replace them. I am for a budget but not a two tier system. I think the FIA and the Teams should be talking so this issue could be resolved. I see two things that can kill F1 and that is a split and then reducing F1 to a Spec series (we have pleanty of them and notice how many are on the TV).

  22. What we have today in F1 is a complete turmoil of rules which may be applied for some but not for all. I thought that we will see green initiatives such as KERS – Surprise the Brown outfit does not even consider it and are winning. Double diffuser – Brown starts winning and FIA approves not to loose face. I have been saying since the start of the season this is by far the worst season yet. As things stand today there is no direction in F1.

  23. I wouldn’t mind a split the way things are going. It’s time the teams took things into their own hands and came up with a real racing series, where the main focus is the racing, not bickering.

  24. And btw, I seriously doubt that a petition, however many signatures on it, would make Mosley step down. I think he’s too powerful for a document like that to touch :P.

  25. HounslowBusGarage
    12th May 2009, 22:24

    @ LynnD
    Thank you, my education is now complete!

  26. Mosley uttered those infamous – and patently incorrect – words that F1 would not suffer without Ferrari.

    Didn’t he say that F1 could survive without Ferrari. I don’t think he ever claimed they wouldn’t suffer?

    Either way, this could be a dangerous situation. The mad dictator is not going to back down methinks – and neither will FOTA.

  27. I think many people who read this site are dedicated F1 fans and would still watch F1 without Ferrari. But among casual fans (and, let’s face it, there’s a lot more of them than us) it would be a huge blow to F1’s reputation.

    1. Yes Keith i do agree with you.

      Max Mosley does not seem to care about F1’s reputation though.

    2. Keith,

      I agree with you on the reputation damage, and lets face it, F1 has suffered in reputation in many forms.

    3. I agree to an extent, but I still think a large part of what makes F1 so attractive is its history and the perspective gleaned from this.

      Despite not being a huge Ferrari fan, I think having them on the grid rather than a Prodrive for example adds a certain kudos.

  28. screw ferrari they are a bunch of cry babys, boooo hoooo were not as fast as brawn and boooo hooooo it’s unfair for us being ferrari we have a huge pull with stupid bernie and not to mention a hugggggggeeee money advantage over the other teams. but yet they still have had there asses whipped up and down the track so far this season by a team that was a write off for honda just 7 months ago. it’s finally nice to see the tables turned on ferrari it’s also funny to see that without unfairly the best car under them ferrari’s 2 drives have proven themselfs to be jokes and they have as much a reason as piquiet to have there driver card pulled. kimi is just a complete joke he used to be sorta fast key word “used” to be but it seems that 10 laps into a race he just gives up or the car breaks lol. Massa is just a spinning top as far as control and if not that he can’t stop making stupid mistakes. screw ferrari hooe there gone soon. GO BRAWN AND JENSON FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP LONG LIVE HONDA!!!!

    1. You need to learn to write properly.

  29. I agree with your post above Kieth, but that is assuming that everything would carry on unchanged. I don’t think Ferrari would just walk away from what made their company and sit back while F1 carried on as normal. I think that the changes to the sports fundamental principle if Ferrari (and the others) leave and some silly 2-tier system is implemented would be why us dedicated fans might start to lose interest. Just like you said, this is why I lost interest in Indy Cars (I’m in the States).
    Also, I personally like to see the big names and the small names in F1. A series full of small names would not be F1.

    1. @Jason, did you read Vettels comments about how perfectly Massa drove in front of him? I don’t think Massa and Kimi are the issue at Ferrari.

  30. This is just playing hard ball negotiations. Offering their worst to spook the competition.

  31. The comparison with IndyCar is interesting, but some would point out Indy isn’t a patch on the global business that F1 is, what with top teams investing £300m a year and a global audience of 580 million unique viewers.

    OK, so they are both leading open-wheeled series but perhaps some caution is needed comparing the two.

    If there’s a series including the current names (teams and drivers), racing cars which look the same at most of the current circuits, who cares what it’s called?

    We’ll still be as fanatical about it, casual fans will note that it’s not called F1 but they just want entertainment before the Eastenders omnibus, and Keith will have to register http://www.GPWCfanatic.co.uk!

    But what if there’s still an FIA Formula 1? Would you bother to watch USGPE, Lola and a few of the GP2 teams who’ve made the step up? Even though it’s technically the ‘real’ F1? Didn’t think so.

    We’d watch Ferrari, McLaren, BMW et al in the new series.

    Shame it won’t happen though.

    1. You may be right but the damage to the F1 vs “f1a” could be on par with IRL vs ChampCar Fans. The fight and then maybee a come together again. IRL is in to it second unified status and is still a shadow of what it once was. I for one dont want to see this. I want to see F1 continue and prosper.

    2. some would point out Indy isn’t a patch on the global business that F1 is, what with top teams investing £300m a year and a global audience of 580 million unique viewers.

      And today that comparison would be correct – but wind the clock back 16 years to when IndyCar was still unified, it had Mansell, Fittipaldi and (Mario) Andretti, and F1 was nicking ideas off it (safety cars, refuelling, even considering oval races) and things looked very different.

  32. Ferrari is acting like a big Prima Dona.
    Or… have they already figured out they cant win this year so they will start designing their 2011 car now and then after taking off a year they will dominate, ala Brawn?

    Either way, I say to them don’t let the doorknob hit ya in the ass!

  33. Ferrari can’t leave….where will Alonso go!!…Maybe he can move to the new USGP team and give me something to cheer about.

  34. marvin guillen
    13th May 2009, 1:15

    Max Mosley get your ***king *ss out of the FIA.
    I`m paying cable to watch F1 and soccer. I going to miss
    my favorite team if they go.

  35. A formula 1 team can budget themselves. They won’t spend more than they can afford to. Formula 1 is supposed to be the best of the best. If you can’t afford to be there then you shouldn’t be there. Its that simple.
    A team will not spend more than they can afford. Let them adjust themselves to the economy instead of imposing things upon them.
    Rule changes and fairness is one thing, but FIA should stay out of each teams operations.

    1. Brian, the main issue is that some can afford more than others. In this case, Ferrari can afford lots more than any new team entering F1. That’s why it makes sense that a budget cap option be looked at.

      The issue here isn’t the actual regulation per se; the issue is how that regulation was created. It’s about who has the power when creating these regs – and that’s a heck of a lot more complicated to resolve.

    2. A formula 1 team can budget themselves. They won’t spend more than they can afford to.

      Of course they can – but if they can’t afford enough to be competitive, they will leave.

  36. Broer Sammy
    13th May 2009, 1:51

    FIA seems create two tier F1 and finally there will be 2 F1 Team should split. F1 Primer team with no limit budget and easy regulation and F1-B with budget limit and tight regulation. They should not race together. So the fans happy 2 F1 races – every week race.

  37. Its not about Ferrari leaving…last news says that only williams and force india are following Mosley. Even Beawn is going with FOTA. Mercedes is trying push Force India to stay togetjer with other teams with FOTa so what would be left in 2010 F1 serious….Williams.

    If teams go and make their own serious world is full of race track who would be happy to let new series racing there…include Monaco. Monaco is only race track in F1 calende3r which dont have contract with Bernie.

    So we dont need talk about F1 without Ferrari, we need talk about F1 without most of teams lol.

    maybe thats what Mosley want. He wants power more than anything else. He really dont care who is driving as long as they are under his thymb. All teams out and new small private teams in and Mosley would be happy man.

    Teams have time till end of this month to sign in to next season. Bernie, Mosley and FOTA will have meating soon.

    Maybe soon we will have new F1 series where is all teams exlude williams and then we have other where is Williams and a lot of small private teams…

    Next week will be intresting.

  38. BMW, Toyota, Red Bull/Toro Rosso have all said if the rules don’t change they will not be taking part in F1 next year. it’s not just Ferrari.

    And I believe Mercedes are “considering their future” in F1.

    Also I believe it wouldn’t take much for Renault to say bye bye.

    All because of one individual.

  39. The more troublesome fans amongst us might dare to suggest that F1 suffered as a sport when Ferrari were at their most dominant years ago.
    Its a valid point, considering the championship as a spectacle, especially in 2002 and 2004, was about as interesting as a long weekend at Bognor Regis in February.
    On a serious note, this latest postering is a means for the teams to be heard. No single team in motorsports carries as much weight as Ferrari, no team is more high profile, and no team are Ecclestone and Mosley as scared to lose.
    The other teams, in many ways, are expendable to the powers at be. As we saw with Honda, things progress and change quickly, but Ferrari are different. They have been the pacesetters, record breakers for so long, the sport would be pointless without them.
    All the other teams want to race, and beat Ferrari. Every driver, in his heart of hearts, wants to race a Ferrari and at some stage, drive one.
    What we have here is a sport in transition. It has to or it will die on its feet. It is only natural for the big powers of Ferrari and McLaren to want to keep the advantage they have had over the years, to not give up their power and prestige. They are fearfull that teams such as Brawn Gp and Red Bull may not just be 2009’s championship runners, but the pacesetters for the next ten years.
    In many ways, the Ferrari of the future. The only way they can respond, is to threaten to walk away in defiance.

  40. Hmmmm…Ferrari didn’t win a WCC from 1965-1974(10 years), again there were no WCC wins between 1984-1998(15 years). Since the constructor’s award was started in 1958 Ferrari have won it 15 times in 50 years. I guess my point is…Ferrari are winners because they have always found a way to stay in F1.

    Keith made the excellent observation regarding the Indy car split. Tony George in his infinite wisdom pretty much destroyed open wheel racing in the US and turned the Indy 500 into a spec racer series. I haven’t watched it since the split. I feel that Max is on a similar path as George.

    F1 is unique in the world, and Ferrari is a big part of it’s history. If Max thinks fans turn on their TV’s to see Force India…well…

    Oh, just on CNN…Ferrari threatens to pull out of F1 over budget caps that would umm…level the playing field…leave a smaller carbon foot print etc…

    I think I just vomited a little in my mouth…

  41. I think that for this sad attempt at drama to be settled properly and to get F1 back where it belongs, Both Bernie and Max have to go. The more they try to make the show better thru changing of rules the worse things are. They should have gotten rid of Max last year but didnt. Ever since his little escapade he has felt invincable, which is evident with all the new rules he is trying to jam down the teams throat.. I have followed F1 for over 40yrs and the last season was a joke. The racing this year is better but all the bickering is taking away from the show. Bernie and Max both want to rule with an iron hand, but we need to remember that without the teams, we dont have a show. F1 needs to be expensive, cutting edge, high technology and with very few limits.
    I love how the old washed up has beens pundits are now taking sides with either Bernie or Max. Niki Lauda is now saying that the spending cap is the best thing he has ever heard. What does he know other than drive well in his time, nothing else he has done has been successful.
    I havent watched open wheel racing in the US since the forming of Indycar. Back when Cart broke away from USAC to form a very good alternative to F1. Technology ruled and the drivers where great. Now the cars are the same chassis with the same moters and the difference is who figures out the setup the best. The drivers are not top tier.
    If FOTA does break away and form a new series, I believe it will be successful if it returns to the old ways of F1, Only race at the old venues, forget all these far east and mideast races and go back to the pure parts of the sport that supporrted them before Bernie took over the marketing. Let the tracks make money and let the teams split the TV revenue. Quit charging a track so much to hold the race that the city that is near it has to underwrite it. The great tracks that have been anchors of the series are loosing out to Bernie Greed. Canada is out , France is out, next is Britain, and it is only getting worse. If we dont reign in these characters and their silly ideas, we might as well forget about a true top level racing series.

  42. Max is trying something he can not control. these large teams are not going top let Max’s cronies come in and waltz through their books to check what they spend. i dont think he can legal do it.
    As for teams reducing thier budgets that will happen on its own, when the sponcers start spending less the teams will adjust their bugets accordingly

  43. Can we not have a tax system instead of a budget cap? That way teams such as Ferrari spend as much as they like, but it becomes exponentially more difficult to do so.

    Money taxed from the large teams goes to help new teams that wish to set up afresh in F1.

    Just an idea, because to me a 40m budget cap takes the capitalist element out of the sport that drives innovation forward. F1 then becomes a small self-sustaining economy, and not a regime with Max the dictator.

    It would probably never work! : )

    1. Can we not have a tax system instead of a budget cap? That way teams such as Ferrari spend as much as they like, but it becomes exponentially more difficult to do so.

      I like original ideas!

      Unfortunately I think this one would fall foul of anti-competition laws. :-(

  44. First off the only thing Max is worried about is F1’s profit margins. The sponsorship contracts for RBS, ING, and Allianze are up. The world economy will recover soon, then Max cant make up this idea the F1 might collapse. So why not fight with Ferrari. Max and the FIA cronies are super rich they cant cry poverty. Max wants to control F1 for his own profit. In America baseball has no buget caps. The New York Yankees have almost a 500 million USD budget. Majar League Baseball rules state that any team that wants to spend that much are required to pay a luxury tax. The money is split among the low budget teams. Why cant this work in F1?

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      13th May 2009, 8:37

      Hamletxi, can you explain how the luxury tax works and who enforces it?

  45. “fans should be campaigning for an outbreak of common sense in the upper echelons of the sport.”

    We’ve been doing that for years.

  46. The Stig for FIA president!

  47. James Bolton
    13th May 2009, 8:20

    I’m of the opinion that Ferrari is F1 and F1 is Ferrari. The two go hand in hand and the FIA must remember that Ferrari can replace F1 and start their own series. But the FIA can’t replace Ferrari.

    The FIA has to be very careful not to remove the very fabric of F1. The British, German and French Grands Prix are all in danger of being lost from the calender. They can’t push Ferrari out as well. They will be left with something that just isn’t Formula 1.

  48. I think the Manufacturers are not thinking properly about this at all. Sure, they can moan about the ‘two tier’ system, and not being able to work with the budget. Well, fine, thats one way to solve the problem…
    But Max has shown his hand, and how weak it is. There is the get-out clause of NOT sticking to the budget. All the Manufacturers – and it needs to be ALL of them for this to work – must declare that they will use option B (ie not staying in the budget) for next year, but carry on designing and redesigning cars as they always used to, ignoring any limitations imposed by the FIA.
    Is Max strong enough to penalise nearly every team on the grid at the first race in 2010? I don’t think so. If he did, his reputation would plummet so fast he wouldn’t know what to do. He would be seen to be the guy who killed F1, instead of putting the blame on the Teams as he is now.
    However, FOTA needs to show that it can work together and against Max and the FIA for this to succeed.
    The one good thing about this is that Bernie is running round in circles between FIA and FOTA because he can see that without the Manufacturers, his end is nigh….

    1. All the Manufacturers – and it needs to be ALL of them for this to work – must declare that they will use option B (ie not staying in the budget) for next year, but carry on designing and redesigning cars as they always used to, ignoring any limitations imposed by the FIA.
      Is Max strong enough to penalise nearly every team on the grid at the first race in 2010? I don’t think so.

      Passive resistance in F1? I like it…

  49. Imagine on the starting grid next year in F1:
    Brawn
    Williams
    Force India
    Lotus
    USGPE
    Prodrive
    Penske

    On the other side of the fence:
    Ferrari
    McLaren
    Renault
    Toyota
    BMW
    Red Bull
    Torro Rosso
    Honda(?)

    Which race will you gonna watch?

    I don’t know but a breakway series may be iminent

    F1 can’t survive without Ferrari
    Ferrari can survive without F1
    F1 can survive without Max…

    1. Definitely worth stating twice ;)

      And you can add to that that the manufacturer cars will be faster and more technologically advanced making the FIA championship look like the retrograde sport it is.

    2. I think if the rest left surely Williams and co would follow them, I can’t imagine Frank & Patrick wanting to be apart of a second rate series?

      Altho I imagine VJ would be quite happy, especially if Brawn and Williams left – would mean he will get those race wins by 2011!!

    3. Imagine on the starting grid next year in F1:
      Brawn
      Williams
      Force India
      Lotus
      USGPE
      Prodrive
      Penske

      On the other side of the fence:
      Ferrari
      McLaren
      Renault
      Toyota
      BMW
      Red Bull
      Torro Rosso
      Honda(?)

      Which race will you gonna watch?

      I don’t know but a breakway series may be iminent

      F1 can’t survive without Ferrari
      Ferrari can survive without F1
      F1 can survive without Max…

      The first group has Lotus, Williams, Pro Drive, Penske. All of them with rich racing history at various levels.

      The second group has Ferrari, McLaren and Renault.

      I can assure you the racing will certainely be better and less politicised in the first group.

    4. BMW not rich in motor racing heritage then?

  50. The fact remains that Max just continues to haul insults at the teams. The gripe Ferrari has it that, the meeting in which Max announced the budget cap, was meant to be a disciplinary hearing, and out of the blue Max just announced it, while still negotiating with FOTA.

    It is not Max or Bernie that have made F1 successful, its the teams that have sacrificed everything to entertain us.
    When the FIA changes the regulations, its the teams that have to spend the resources to build the cars, do the research on safety, and still be competitive to put up a good show.
    The teams didn’t always spend so much or had so much money, even with a budget cap there is no guarantee they’ll still raise that money. The FIA or FOM doesn’t find the money for them. The teams must raise their own capital.

    Suddenly the teams are getting stronger, and have realised that they are being taken for a ride. Bernie and Max are trying to break them up, because they want absolute control of the sport, they don’t want the players having a say.

    The teams have never been opposed to reducing costs, but what Max is doing is like telling a man to cut off his limbs to lose weight.

    No doubt, it should be a bit easier for teams to get into F1, but they must have to earn their place there. They have to work their way up and not be given free passage. All the teams that want to come in, just want an effortless path to success.

    I believe any cap should just be on materials and equipments, staff salaries, drivers salaries, marketing and any other thing should not be restricted.

  51. While I am no fan of Ferrari they are the most popular team in F1 and them leaving would have a big impact on the sport. I think Formula 1 would survive in some form if all the current teams left and Mosley just promoted all the GP2 teams to F1 and turned it into a spec series. It would be Formula 1 only in name and a split would do no one any favours, but it would manage to survive.

    I think both sides are filled with egos, hidden agendas and are taking a bargaining position of starting with unrealistic demands so they have plenty of room for manoeuvre.

    If the FIA were serious about a budget cap they should be working closely with FOTA to achieve this, not just imposing a limit which is too low too soon but has more favourable regulations to try to force teams to opt for the budget cap.

    I have read that FOTA are in favour of a budget cap in principle but the sticking points are the level and what to include in it.

    I have my doubts if a budget cap could work in F1 because of the complications involved such as the potential to hide costs, working out realistic market values for some items and the different costs in different countries.

    However if a budget cap is ever introduced it should start high and then gradually reduce each year to the target level and then be reviewed each year, and it should never mean a two tier F1.

    If a split did take place and I had to choose only one to follow my decision would be based on the teams and drivers in each series. My favourite teams are Williams and McLaren, if they were not in the same series then I would have to look at the drivers in each series.

    In reality if it were possible I would follow both series, but one of the major factors in determining how successful each would be, is accessibility. Personally I only have terrestrial TV and would not get Sky, so for a potential rival series to be a success I think it would have to be shown live on a free to air channel.

  52. Does the FIA cover all racing series in Europe? Because what would happen to all the other stuff, like medical centres, marshalls, the circuit organisers etc if F1 wasn’t under the FIA umbrella?

    I’m not for a split for all the reasons Keith put in his article, but feasibly could it actually happen? I’m not so sure.

    You couldn’t have Ron Dennis/Jean Todt heading up the new government as they are too closely associated to teams. I think needs to be some new blood but I’m not sure who/where. FOTA couldn’t regulate it totally as they’d have no time for the actual racing!

    If the tracks aren’t under FIA control then that would ok, loose a few that are Bernie owned, but who would miss Hungaroring?!

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      13th May 2009, 15:58

      As far as I know, the FIA only controls race-series that are affiliated to it. It does not therefore control A1GP for example. The support facilities that are only for Formula 1 Grand Prix races, like the Syd Watkins and the medical staff are only available at sanctioned GP meetings. Other facilities like the marshalls etc are provided by the track and national organising body.
      Bit of a complicated weave, but if A1GP can organise an intercontinetal race series on comparable track with cars running at 90% of Formula 1 speeds, so could a new Manufacturer-based race series.
      Again as far as I know, the only track that Bernie owns is Paul Ricard which is no longer used as an international track. Does anyone know if he owns any others.

  53. If F1 didn’t evolve and change rules to meet the requirements of the current time, then we would still see front engine cars driving round the race circuits.

    If Ferrari left, I’d be sad about it, but I’d still watch F1. True fans will stay. Casual fans will disappear.
    Maybe the international brand will be damaged and we’ll have to resort to racing on these European race circuits again as the Asian \ Middle East circuits lose fans.

    The only thing that got me close to giving up F1 was all the post race steward nonsense over the last year. I just want to see racing, non-spec racing at it’s best. You do not need any specific team for that.

    If Ferrari did give up F1, I wonder if they’d throw their weight into LeMans instead. Factory LMP1 Ferrari to take on Audi \ Peugeot. That would really be something to see.

  54. Jamie Frankel
    13th May 2009, 11:25

    Something I don’t understand. 3 teams had the double diffuser, meaning 7 didn’t. Calculating the total spent, how has that saved money when the double diffuser is going to be banned for next year anyway. Had the FIA said the double diffuser was illegal, William, Torro Rosso and Brawn, would have built one like the rest and they couldve used/developed it next year too. So instead of 3 teams developing a new one, they have made 17 teams develop a new one (7 – DD, 10 – 2010 Diffuser). Sounds like a brilliant way of saving money!!!

    1. the double diffuser is going to be banned for next year anyway.

      I haven’t read anything about that happening.

  55. Jamie Frankel
    13th May 2009, 11:25

    I didn’t mean Torro Rosso (from above post), I meant Toyota

  56. Governance must change. Hopefully Ferrari will be supported by Renault, BMW, Red Bull (both teams) Toyota and McLaren. The smaller teams dare not risk revenge.

    There are many excellent tracks not under contract to Bernie and there are other racing promoters and organisers to handle the nitty gritty. Bernie uses the ex Brabham mechanics and thanks to Max there will be many other capable men available.

    Cost reduction across F1 as a whole would have been better achieved by cutting Bernie’s profits though testing bans have reduced his overheads in medicare infrastructure and marshalling and increased profits even more. If Max has his way would Bernie continue to share 50% of revenue with teams or would he argue for 15%

    Every recent change has cost teams a huge amount. New regulations next year will cost even more. Is this the FIA method of reucing costs?

  57. Keith why, as your title states, is this just a fight with Ferrari? You article actually states that it isn’t:

    Toyota and Red Bull/Toro Rosso have already voiced the same objections and several F1 news sites are indicating that Mercedes, Renault and BMW are prepared to do the same.

    Some fans have suggested they would like to see a FOTA-led split in F1, with the car manufacturers forming their own series.

    And I am one of them but I would include privateer teams not just manufacturers.

    They ignore the lessons of history at their peril. Such a split destroyed the open-wheel racing scene in America. The once strong Indy Car championship has been relegated to the status of a minor national championship in America since its 1995 division.

    Wasn’t the “once strong Indy Car championship” also formed out of a split in 1978?

    A split in F1 would not only be a tragedy for the sport, but the whole of motor racing. There are no other major international motor racing championships that are a fraction as popular. The fans, the teams, the FIA, the money men – we would all be losers in this scenario.

    Isn’t that a fairly pessimistic assumption? Surely there is the possibility that a split could be successful, that it could restore the racing principles of bygone eras, that the teams could make more money and the fans could have a series that is not only more entertaining but actually respects them. I’m not saying it would 100% be successful but then I’m not saying it will be a 100% failure, I don’t know how it would turn out.

    The FIA doesn’t care about the fans or the teams they have proved that with their actions, it’s undeniable. I filled out the FIA survey and when they fail to respect the results they disrespect me and all the other fans who not only took the time to do the survey but who take the time out of their lives to watch a race, but really their disrespect goes way beyond just that.

    Brundle: Bernie 25 of the 58 world championships have gone down to the wire at the last race how does that happen that’s pretty impressive?

    Ecclestone: It’s not easy it gets more difficult every year…

    Eddie Jordan: I honestly think that if Bernie Ecclestone doesn’t see confusion or any aggravation that he thinks, ‘I’ve got to create some.’

    The FIA is full of cronies the evidence can be seen in the fact that Moseley is still president or that the race stewards routinely make bizarre and nonsensical decisions. My personal choice for a new president would be Tony Purnell but I wouldn’t and don’t trust an organization with the record of cronyism and corruption that the FIA has. I wouldn’t trust an organization that just represents the interest of big car manufacturers either, any sport needs an independent governing body that ultimately looks at the bigger picture beyond individual interests.

    To me the question is are you happy for Formula One to continue the way it’s going or do you think it needs to change? I think it needs to change and the most viable way would appear to be a break-away.

    1. Well that was an overly long post but I’d just like to add that all of this has the hall marks of a Bernie & Max smoke screen, ask for a mile in one place and take a kilometer in another. I wouldn’t be surprised if all of this fails to come to fruition but some other radical change gets pushed through instead.

    2. Lots of very strong and thought-provoking points there!

      Keith why, as your title states, is this just a fight with Ferrari? You article actually states that it isn’t

      I see Ferrari as the leaders in this – yes, to an extent Montezemolo is representing FOTA, but his legal argument is ground in the agreement Ferrari and the FIA made in 2005.

      Wasn’t the “once strong Indy Car championship” also formed out of a split in 1978?

      This leads us into the question of how far the IndyCar split in the 1990s was a consequence of the imperfect unification between USAC and CART in the late ’70s (not my area of expertise!). But I think my basic point stands – unity good, splits bad.

      Isn’t that a fairly pessimistic assumption? Surely there is the possibility that a split could be successful, that it could restore the racing principles of bygone eras, that the teams could make more money and the fans could have a series that is not only more entertaining but actually respects them. I’m not saying it would 100% be successful but then I’m not saying it will be a 100% failure, I don’t know how it would turn out.

      I think that’s an extremely optimistic assumption!

      F1 is not just about the teams, it’s about the tracks and the formula as well. Would the regulations be close enough, would there be enough decent circuits, would enough of the big-name teams be involved? And, critically, what would the breakaway championship be called? It almost certainly wouldn’t be “F1”.

      All these changes would rob the new series of continuity with the past. We would have two rival championships competing for the right to be recognised as the ‘true’ F1. And this is where the point about the IndyCar split comes in.

      Realistically, there would not be a clean break. It would be very messy. The loss of fans and sponsors’ revenues would be measured in tens of millions.

    3. This leads us into the question of how far the IndyCar split in the 1990s was a consequence of the imperfect unification between USAC and CART in the late ’70s (not my area of expertise!).

      My reading of it is that CART split from USAC but I’m not gonna pretend my knowledge goes any further than here

      I think that’s an extremely optimistic assumption!

      lol If you’re idea of an optimistic assumption is a tragedy then I gotta hear your pessimistic version.

      Would the regulations be close enough, would there be enough decent circuits, would enough of the big-name teams be involved? And, critically, what would the breakaway championship be called?.

      I love that your critical point is the name. Funnily enough didn’t Ecclestone copyright the name F1GP and a few other names around ’05? Some joker ;) came up with the name Formula X which I imagine would appeal to Redbull with all their interest in “Xtreme” sport. I quite like F-Zero, or to avoid legal confusion with the computer game F-0. Moto GP isn’t exactly an improvement on Super Bikes is it. I mean come on Super Bikes says it all they’re super and they’re bikes lol.

      Big name teams? Why don’t we say the seven named in your article. What about if they could produce customer cars? How many privateers would be interested then?

      Regulations? It’s not about tight regulations its about the right regulations and I’d trust the F1 TWG to make them over the FIA.

      Circuits? Silverstone, Imola, Magny Cours, Indianapolis, Circuit Gile de Villeneuve, Jerez, Fuji, A1 Ring. There are a lot of other good and viable circuits all over the world as you know and when the current contracts with F1 run out the new series could take at places like Monza, Monaco and Spa.

      All these changes would rob the new series of continuity with the past.

      Read that statement again and think back over the last decade in Formula One, how much continuity is there in F1 2009?

      The loss of fans and sponsors’ revenues would be measured in tens of millions.

      That all depends on the media campaign and coverage, the regulations and the racing. Immediately race hosts could pay less and charge less to fans.

  58. HounslowBusGarage
    13th May 2009, 12:02

    K, where did you get this from?

    Brundle: Bernie 25 of the 58 world championships have gone down to the wire at the last race how does that happen that’s pretty impressive?

    Ecclestone: It’s not easy it gets more difficult every year…

    Out of context, it reads as thoug Bernie is admitting to manipulating the Championship to get it decided at the last race. Can you explain the ‘right’ context?

    1. IIRC that qas from Brundle’s grid walk in Brazil last year and yes it does sound like Bernie is idmitting to manipulating the Championship to get it decided at the last race… And putting it in context doesn’t make it sound any less so… Of course that was what Bernie intended and was just an example of his dry sense of humour.

      At least I think he was joking…

  59. schumi the greatest
    13th May 2009, 13:00

    ive just thought now, any maybe im miles off the mark here but i would appreciate if somone could explain this to me anyway.

    The teams are effectivley companies…their intrest is racing f1 cars and competing to win but in essence they are a business. Surley the manafacturer teams (ferrari,toyota,renault,bmw, to some extent mclaren) are run like a business? i mean they dont just get handed $400million a year from toyota’s bank account do they?? their budget comes from sponsorship, expected tv revenue etc etc?/ ok some capital was probably raised through the manafacturers themselves when they entered like when bmw bough sauber or honday bought bar.

    what im getting at sureley the manafacturer teams are just companies within the group of companies owned by the manafacturer and are therfore responsible for their expenditure and to balance the books.

    probabaly confusedm everyone, i cant quite explain my thoughts! but i would appreciate if someone could explain this 1 to me!

    1. Yes, for the most part I think you are right, the F1 teams are usually just part of the Group of Companies owned by various Manufacturers. Thats certainly true for McLaren, which isn’t completely owned by Daimler AG (yet).
      But I think the BMW and Toyota F1 teams are part of their Motorsports divisions, so in FIA’s eyes, they have an open cheque-book from the parent company for R&D etc. And of course Ferrari, although nominally a separate company, can still call on money or resources from the FIAT empire, and maybe even the Italian state.
      Renault is already heavily subsidised by the French government, so some of that may be going to their Motorsport and F1 divisions. How would the FIA stop that from happening in the future?
      I can understand the need for smaller teams and smaller budgets, but why hasn’t this been made into a long-term goal, spread over a number of years, to encourage the Manufacturers to stay and have time to re-arrange their F1 teams?
      Maybe there will be a compromise made in the next couple of weeks before the deadline, but it really makes you wonder just what Max and the FIA think they are going to get from a grid full of angry teams next year…..

    2. Car manufacturers view motor racing in general as marketing and/or a place to develop new technologies.

      Their F1 team won’t generate any profit directly and will need millions in funds each year to compete but they will justify this as advertising or research and development in their accounts, and when you think how much the budgets for those can be for a big manufacturer the sums they spend on F1 don’t look so out of place.

    3. I agree largely with what DGR-F1 has said but I’d add to that:

      From what I understand Ferrari is one of the only profit making divisions in Fiat, possibly the only one, and as such covers a lot of Fiats losses as well as funding the F1 team. Fundamentally Ferrari sell cars to go racing where as other manufacturers go racing to sell cars, so said the great man himself.

      Renault reputedly already run their team on a very low budget.

      BMW who spend more than most but about half as much as the biggest spenders consider F1 to be a cost effective exercise in brand awareness and development so a large part of the F1 cost is probably soaked up by the main company and or the sports division budget.

      Toyota just through money at the damn thing.

    4. Oh I meant throw not through!!!

  60. It’s all very well saying a team could run on £30m but would it be competitive? Max and the FIA are just playing their usual hardball game to reach a what must be an all round tough difficult compromise.

    I think valid points and concerns have been raised and voiced but I just can’t help always feeling a little irritated at Ferrari’s constant stereotypical whinning. Yes, they have unrivaled and tremendous history in F1 but they get far to big a share of the F1 pie which in my view is grossly unfair. This imbalance needs to be repaired and they should make strong gestures in this regard.

    If Ferrari left F1, I’d be sad but frankly life would go on. I’d be dishonest if I didn’t say that in fact, there is an ever increasing part of me that is curious to see how it would indeed pan out if they did indeed leave. Perhaps we’d get that breakaway series that often gets threatened about so often…

    1. It’s all very well saying a team could run on £30m but would it be competitive?

      With the massive performance advantages the FIA are offering, they would be more than competitive, they would be seconds per laps quicker than the uncapped teams.

  61. For starters I think the Formula 1 can just as easily continue without Ferrari as they could without Lotus or Brabham or any succesfull team in the past.

    Secondly I think the budgetcap is necessary for the Formula 1 to continue. Honda already left because they couldn’t afford it anymore and other car manufacturers are likely to follow if they continue to lose money with their core business.

    What is Formula 1 with only 5 teams? Nothing!

    I rather see a Formula 1 with 13 teams and a reasonable budgetcap and a lot of teams capable of winning instead of a Formula 1 without a budgetcap and only two or three teams capable of winning (in the long run) because they have the largest budgets. Look at the past. Since 1998 only Ferrari, McLaren and Renault where able to win a title (and an occasional other team winning a race). I agree budget is not the only factor (see Toyota, Honda), but it is one of the most important factors to get (and stay) on top.

    I am definitely against a two tier system, as are most teams. But most teams are not against a reasonable budgetcap, which is reduced in a couple of years until the proposed 40 million pound.

  62. Mouse Nightshirt
    13th May 2009, 15:19

    Interesting to see the difference of opinion between commenters here and commenters on James Allen’s blog.

    Ferrari will not go through on their threat and although £40m seems like too big a cut, I agree with the principle. Just ditch this two-tiered idea.

  63. Max Mosley is just posturing in order to distract teams from the issue of revenue (where Bernie pockets 50% of the profits).

    I mean how else can someone come up with such antagonistic rules that all the participants don’t agree with?

  64. Just ditch this two-tiered idea.

    Agreed. Let’s not return to 1987 and the Jim Clark Cup and Colin Champman Trophy, as that’s what it will end up being.

  65. HounslowBusGarage
    13th May 2009, 17:05

    Similar hardball statement from Renault threatening to leave F1.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8048112.stm

  66. Will F1 survive without the red team? Sure, but no matter what, it will be a “new F1”. Would the sponsor dump all the money in a “new F1” without knowing if it will work without Ferrari,Red Bull, Renault, maybe another 2 teams…mh! I don’t think so. Would the “new F1” survive with few sponsors for the first 2 years while things settles?..Mh! another difficult question…
    I pity Brawn, Williams when after busting their buts during winter, will be 1st and 2nd in the “new F1” championship, after beating Force India and a couple of new teams. Were would be the glory, the prestige to be at the top in a championship of mediocrity?
    Let’s hope common sense will prevail…or next year we all be blogging about fishing…

  67. What is driving the cost of F1? Precision. The teams are forever chasing the ultimate precision when designing these cars. The regulations as they are currently, requires rocket science to build design and build these cars. Rocket science as we know doesn’t come cheap.
    Even the lap time stopwatch has 3 decimal places. What that means simply is that, the smallest microsecond really does matter when chasing performance in a car.

    If the rules allowed for simpler cars to be built, no too much complexity, apart from in areas necessary, you would not need a budget cap to create a very competitive car. For instance, Mclaren spent $20million to develop that silver paint scheme, but it doesn’t add to the performance of the car, rather, it just massages their ego. Another team might use the regular paints and save probably $19.999million.

    The same goes for the cars, if the cars are simpler without too many aerodynamic tweaks and complicated electronics and sensors, one you wont need all that much staffing to monitor the telemetry from a driver’s shoelace. Neither will you spend so much tweaking the aerodynamics or replacing expensive sensors.
    As a matter of fact, the money saved by the richer teams can be better put to use, installing diamond studded steering wheels and solid gold driver mirrors.

  68. Shahriar Ahsan
    13th May 2009, 18:17

    F1 without Ferrari…

    HELL NOOOO

  69. So wot if Ferrari leaves? Show em whos the boss FIA!

    Ferrari, Its hurts to a underdogg no?…. Face it, embrace it! nd not play drama cus of it

  70. HounslowBusGarage
    13th May 2009, 20:48

    @ K.
    Thanks for the YouTube link. I think (hope) you’re right and Bernie is joking. But a few seconds later he answers in response to who he wants to win the Championship
    “I think y’know, whoever gets the most points should win the Championship.”
    Shame he didn’t remember saying that before coming up with the stupid medal idea.

    1. Shame he didn’t remember saying that before coming up with the stupid medal idea

      Haha too true.

      To be honest I’m not convinced Bernie is joking but then neither am I convinced he’s being serious, I think it’s questionable and to an outsider there’s no obvious answer. I thought this at the time. But I do think it’s interesting that Brundle makes a point of asking him and prior to that says “lets have a word with Bernie there’s something I wanna have a quick chat with him about” it’s clearly premeditated and it’s something Brundle has questioned before in his commentary. I think Bernie doesn’t care who wins the championship he cares when it’s won.

  71. Id like to bring into question the urgency of cost cutting. The teams are the ones who decide to spend and they do it because the companies that own them calculate that it helps them make money. Formula one looks to be doing great to me. Look at all the new tracks, the level of competition, its as good as it gets.
    The teams have a limit to what they will spend. When they need to cut costs they will. Toyota, Ferrari, Mclaren, Red Bull, Mercedes are some of most profitable companies in the world even in a bad economy. If anyone knows about costs its them. Toyota is known for effeciency. Give them 10 years of consistant regulations and youll will see them make it more and more cost effective.
    As for getting more teams involved why not have F1 itself have common facilities lower budgets teams can use. A wind tunnel, supercomputer for CFD, car simulators and rolling roads. That would save loads of money.
    The other questionable assumption is that there arent enough teams. Yes 26 cars would be nice but i cant see it being better than having the championship decided by one point the last two years.

  72. Okay, so if the cap is introduced next year, F1 will lose Ferrari and a few other big teams. If the cap is not introduced then it makes things harder for smaller independant teams to survive. To be honest, I would rather lose Force India than I would Ferrari. F1 is supposed to be the best of the best.
    I blame a lot of this on Bernie and Mosely. If Ferrari leaves and they take a few other teams with them, they will likely form their own championship and to be honest I would support them. Bernie and Mosely have too much power. It should be the teams saying what they can and cannot afford to do. It should be the teams that decide what they have to do in order to save money. Each team is a business and business have to independantly develop strategies to survive a economic crisis. Let FIA control the rules and regulations, and let the teams dictate their own business expenses. I want to see the best team win. If a team can find a way to beat Ferrari(Brawn this year) with less money, then they deserve to win.

  73. I’m no fan of the Cristiano Ronaldos of Formula 1 – a bunch of scarlet clad pretty boys who go off on a strop whenever they aren’t winning things easily, but even I have to admit that F1 would not be the same without them. But something does need to be done about the sport, which has been spending far too much money for far too long. Unfortunately, I’m not sure what can be done to allow independent teams to compete at a relatively even level. If the costs keep spiralling, manufacturers will have to do a Super Aguri/Honda and quit, leaving us with the pinnacle of motor sport looking like the 2005 US Grand Prix. But I’m not sure a budget cap is viable either.

  74. I’ve seen so many arguments about what will happen if the likes of Ferrari and FOTA will leave and how F1 will still survive. I don’t understand those sentiments.

    The bottom line is that most fans of F1 hardcore or not are either supporting the team or the driver. So if FOTA decide to take their teams to their own series then it’s not only the team but the drivers as well who will be going with them.

    Who the hell would want to then watch F1 with drivers who aren’t the best in the world zipping tracks in same spec machinery? Don’t we already have that in GP2, A1GP, IRL and all the other open wheel series?

    If FOTA splits then you can be sure all the TV rights and attention will go to that series while Bernie will have to deal with a CVC breakdown and Max trying to explain how he lost the crown jewel of motorsport.

  75. F1 is all about Teams & Drivers.
    So we can let them go
    Spectator don’t need Max & Bernie
    Let Tolt Jackie cum in there place.

  76. Gary Radonich
    14th May 2009, 4:34

    I think that the best solution would be for FOTA to purchase the A1 Grand Prix series and do their own World Cup of Motor Racing. There are aready contracts in place with circuts and more could be added. I am sure that there could even be a couple of races in the USA. I would give Tony George back his race at Indy in exchange for the rights to the Long Beach Grand Prix. With some creative thinking and alot of work I could imagine sixteen races next year, and at circuts where people would attend the races.

    1. Tony George doesnt want it. Thats why the one year deal for 2006 was not extended

  77. One thing is sure, you do not bluff Max or Bernie. Their revenge would make the MacLaren fine seem like a gentle kiss. You have to be more than half way out of the door before even hinting that you might leave. There is so much money going through the FOG that leaving would appear an easy option.

    Remember the “Three Tenors” Football World Cup in Italy when FIAT freed Di Montezemolo to organise the event superbly. There are real business men and great organisers in F1 not amateurs as is Max or small time wheeler dealers either. For instance, what if anything has Max created that matches Ron Dennis life work, or BMW or Toyota or Daimler. The list is endless.

    These organisations are wise enough to create a wholly owned quasi-independant promoter with racing as the prime interest knowing that profits and viewers would follow if governance is honest. If too much bother in the past, Max has ensured nothing but bother if they do not do so.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      14th May 2009, 21:09

      Their revenge would make the MacLaren fine seem like a gentle kiss

      Nice phrase.
      Do you think therefore that FOTA has already drawn up an alternative racing solution?

  78. theRoswellite
    14th May 2009, 16:17

    This certainly is a very serious problem, as one can only take the manufacturers at their word.

    Don’t think that it is impossible for F1 to self-destruct in the manner of US Open-Wheel racing. That series was at a high point in fan support and sponsor involvement and it all went south when the actors involved over estimated their relative importance. It is certainly possible…only requiring an unhealthy degree of hubris, and at least two of our participants seem well endowed in this area.

    The goal is having a sport that is run in a reasonable and democratic manner; that is the key issue, and the subject which must be addressed, if disagreements such as this are not to resurface on a continual basis.

    One can only hope that in the end vested self-interest will carry the day, and a reasonable compromise will result.

    Please, Keith and Martin, keep us on track.

  79. 1) clearly the people running the current organizational structure of the sport have to go, or the current organizational structure itself needs to go – all this crap tends to prevent growth by accretion of casual fans, thus revenues stagnate…
    2) hasn’t the “harm” of single-team dominance already been “corrected”, with 2 Renault championships, followed by 2 REALLY wild and exciting years, including poor Ferrari reliability throughout that time, and now Brawn, Toyota, Red Bull and poorly-performing McLarens/Ferraris??
    3) recent years, including the current season, should be precursors of a new Golden Age in F1, for true fans, for marketing, in just about EVERY way – what happened??

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