Stalemate: Ferrari taking FIA to court but who is in the right? (Poll)

The FIA is being taken to court by Ferrari over the 2010 rules

The FIA is being taken to court by Ferrari over the 2010 rules

Today’s meeting between the F1 teams representatives, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone failed to resolve the row over the 2010 regulations.

Two hours into the meeting Max Mosley received a text message from his lawyer informing him that Ferrari were beginning legal action in France to block the new rules. The proceedings came to a halt. The case will be heard on Tuesday next week and already Mosley is vowing to appeal if Ferrari win their case.

Both sides are engaged in brinkmanship. Ferrari’s resort to legal action is its response to Mosley’s demand that entries for the championship be received within two weeks – and that current teams who do not enter may lose their place. Toyota has said it is backing Ferrari in the action.

With this, the row has moved beyond the immediate need to sort the regulations out for next year, and onto the question of how F1 is governed. The recent history of F1 is littered with bitter disputes over the regulations. Whenever one agreement is reached a fresh argument springs up within weeks.

If it takes a messy legal row to halt the destructive cycle of bitter wrangling over the rules then perhaps F1 can emerge from this looking stronger. But at the moment it’s difficult to be optimistic.

Who do you think has F1’s best interests at heart? Are Ferrari misguidedly endeavouring to protect the teams’ right to spend themselves out of the sport? Or are they correctly to go to court against a governing body that imposes rule changes arbitrarily and without consultation?

Or is this just a clash of egos in which the sport is ultimately the loser?

Who do you most support in the rules row?

  • Ferrari and the other teams (79%)
  • Max Mosley and the FIA (9%)
  • Neither (12%)

Total Voters: 1,459

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110 comments on Stalemate: Ferrari taking FIA to court but who is in the right? (Poll)

  1. Snoopy said on 16th May 2009, 4:01

    I just wonder what in the eaqrth those other 20 people in FIA WMSC are thinking? mas Mosley is jsut one man so how he can make rest of them do what ever he wants?

    Well country representing is very ntresting…Tazmania, Sweden, Venezuela, China, Czech Republic, Portugal etc. How many F1 drivers those countries have? Lol.

    It seems that FIA really dont need 20 other people in WMSC when they just say Yes what ever Max says.

    Hearing Max saying that cutting cost has to happens its strange that same time he made KERS rule which has incrised cost and if cost now has to cut that much it means incresing employment rates as well.

    I, as auditor can not understand his ideas. there is no way in the world that somebody can control that cost cut and there is no way that companies let somebody from FIA come and see cashbooks…it against all business life rules.

    I start feell more and more that this is all about power. Max want big teams out and small in so he can controll them better. If he things that teams can cut cost 100 Dollars by over night when next year car is under design allready, he really has lost his mind.

    Other thing is that if Ferrari has VETO rights FIA have broken rule and laws and i dont understand how he thought he can get out from it.

    Maybe he is getting bored when Ron Dennis is not there anymore so he has to start fight with somebody else…

  2. Snoopy said on 16th May 2009, 4:01

    I did mean 100 milj. dollars lol

  3. scunnyman said on 16th May 2009, 4:32


    Ferrari may technically oppose a budget cap, but they say they are not opposed to reducing the costs in Formula One.

    • F1Yankee said on 16th May 2009, 5:45

      they have the deepest pockets of all, especially with their arab backing. obviously, that is an advantage they are bent on keeping.

      if they, or any team, were to promise to limit themselves, only a fool could believe them. right? or am i bananas?

  4. Prisoner Monkeys said on 16th May 2009, 4:52

    I voted ‘neither’, because I actually think both are being pretty reasonable; the FIA wants to safeguard the future of the sport by expanding it, while FOTA want to see that the sport remains consistent. I think the big problem here is the egos and tensions have led to what amounts to a game of chicken, which both the FIA an FOTA looking to see who will back down first.

  5. b0son said on 16th May 2009, 6:47

    The crux of the matter is this – the FIA want total control over F1. The teams dont want them to.

    Who has more right to control – the one making the investment, or the one benefitting from it?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th May 2009, 23:49

      Who has more right to control – the one making the investment, or the one benefitting from it?

      Good question. We do need to keep sight of the fact that this is a three-way negotiation: how much money the teams get from Ecclestone has a significant effect on how large their budgets need to be.

      At the moment a gigantic quantity of F1’s earning leaves the sport to line Ecclestone and CVC’s pockets. Were more of that going to the teams – being re-invested in the sport – this would be less of a problem.

  6. theRoswellite said on 16th May 2009, 7:01

    Although my comments are always “time zone inappropriate”, here goes…

    a) Max says he must save F1 from the Big Spenders who will leave the sport vacuously empty when they pull out after realizing their exorbitant spending is unsustainable and indefensible.
    Yet, at this point, his draconian proposals seem to be a more likely cause of their withdrawal.

    b) Levels of spending, and team participation, have changed era to era, but there has never been a time when…”they gave a race, and no one showed up.”
    Max seems to be showing a bit more pessimism than is really called for, especially considering the sporting success of the last two years. (Was he this concerned when one MS was leading a very stolid parade for a considerable part of 5 years in a row?)

    c) F1 employs a good number of folks, most of them very highly skilled and dedicated. His measures will, if adopted, bring to an end a long period of prosperity in the sport; one that has reached around the globe.
    Why does he feel that it is HIS MANDATE to “save” us from ourselves?

  7. Pierre said on 16th May 2009, 8:12

    I have voted for the teams. However there are many valid and good comments made about the current issues facing F1 today. As Robert correctly stated there is to very complex issues that need to be resolved.

    My concern is that should their be no compromise and the likes of Ferrari, Toyota, Red Bull etc not submit entries for 2010 then F1 is dead after Monaco for the simple reason that none of these team will be spending money on developing their cars for the rest of the 2009 season. You could very well have a situation where they will not participate in the Friday and Saturday pratice sessions, be knocked out in the first part of quali and retire the cars after 2 or 3 laps. Apart from that with Ferrari gone in 2010 you could have extremely poor attendance at the Italian GP and as a direct consequence we could see this venue dissappear from the F1 calender in future.

    Inconceivable – commensense must prevail.

  8. Kayleigh said on 16th May 2009, 10:34

    I voted for the teams.

    I think this is more about power than budget caps, but fair enough.

    Yes the FIA should be encouraging teams to cut costs to help keep everyone in business BUT at the end of the day its down to the individual teams to have the right people in place to get the money in etc.

    I think the sponsors and manufacturers are no longer in a position to throw money at the one big marketing exercise that is F1, so the budgets will naturally shrink as contracts are not renewed.

    When will the FIA learn that changing the rules only increases spending not reduces it – leave the rules as they are now for a few years and the costs will come down.

    Max did great things with the sport but now is going off the straight and narrow and I for one hope he sticks to his promise of not standing for re-election. For all those on twitter #maxout!!!

  9. Martin Bell said on 16th May 2009, 10:58

    I have felt for some time that the manufacturers wield too much control over F1, as there can be few sports where the participants have so much influence on the rules. This latest sabre-rattling is just another round in this tedious battle for control, which from where I sit does nothing to improve my Sunday afternoons. The manufacturers have tried to invoke the same passion for their teams as Ferrari, but failed. Would any of us really miss Toyota, or BMW, or Renault? Neither side is right, just both completely self absorbed.

  10. tom said on 16th May 2009, 11:19

    Ferrari are clearly bluffing. Who would voluntarily give up their main (only) advertising platform???

  11. A Singh said on 16th May 2009, 11:46

    The solution is simple: tell Max to get lost as he is an incapable old coot.

    Formula 1 is screwed without Ferrari, so I don’t why he’s allowed to play these games.

  12. The cap and the rules changes are all smoke and mirrors disguising the real struggle: Who’s sport is it, and who will get all the money?

    Bernie and Max are forcing the cap on the teams simply to reduce the amount of money the teams seek from the sport; end of story! More for CVC and Bernie to pocket.

    If Max and Bernie are no longer in a position to dictate these kinds of changes, they will no longer be in a position to secure the cash.

    Of course the teams are willing to reduce costs, but on their terms, not Max’s or Bernie’s. Max is willing to flush the sport’s entire history down the crapper, including Ferrari, simply to maintain his personal position of power and Bernie’s cash. Follow the money.

    Big business at its biggest and baddest.

  13. Martin said on 16th May 2009, 12:33

    1) as a rabid tifosi, let me just say that if Ferrari is NOT bluffing, then to hell with them –
    2) if these things can’t be negotiated without this harmful crap going on, then something big DOES need to change, and this change would/will be painful –
    3) as I mis-posted on an older article, what’s happening on-track for five years now is GREAT – it should be a Golden Age…

  14. The FIA’s proposal has blatant weaknesses in it, ranging from an encouragement to the uncapped teams to spend more to counteract the technical advantage of the smaller teams (this weakness no longer applies as of yesterday afternoon) to requiring the cost-regulated teams to know their staff, suppliers and agencies 14 months in advance on pain of an unspecified penalty.

    To bring in such a proposal in a way that breaks both Appendix 5 of the Sporting Regulations (because neither the Technical Working Group nor the Sporting Working Group agreed to the measure) and also the Ferrari veto simply shows how weak the proposal is.

    Moving the deadline for entry from the end of July to May 29 seals the deal for me. The FIA thinks it can do what it likes no matter how badly it does it without getting help or consultation from anyone that may be able to assist its job. Someone has to do something and Ferrari taking the FIA to court is probably the best thing that could have happened to F1 right now. Maybe in future the FIA will think before imposing new regulations against what would be advisable.

  15. SoLiD said on 16th May 2009, 14:55

    I’m for the teams.
    The two tier thing is nothing and most teams can’t be run with a 40mil budget… not yet atleast!

    They should cap it, but much higher, for sure.

    Let’s hope Max is gone quickly so we get a fresh wind and less political BS.

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