Ferrari to present case against FIA

Ferrari has enjoyed much success since gaining its 'technical veto'

Ferrari has enjoyed much success since gaining its 'technical veto'

As revealed on Friday, Ferrari today are attempting to prosecute the FIA in the French courts for, they claim, breaking the terms of their now-infamous 2005 agreement.

The outcome of the trial could be crucial for the future of the sport, but most likely it will prove just another chapter in the latest F1 row – which has now transformed from a dispute over the rules into a conflict that asks fundamental questions about how F1 is run and governed.

The technical veto

The causes of the trial are remarkable enough to begin with. Last week Ferrari admitted to having had a ‘technical veto’ on the F1 rules since 1998 – seven years after Max Mosley was elected president of the FIA.

That the sport’s governing body was willing to grant such an unfair concession to one team is shocking even to the most cynical of fans, as it lends credence to allegations that the FIA has skewed the rules in Ferrari’s favour. By 1998 the team had gone 15 years without a championship. Since then they’ve won 14 out of 20.

Surely this revelation is just as likely to dissuade manufacturers from staying in or joining F1 as the recession is? If the playing field isn’t level there’s no point competing at any price.

Ten days to the deadline

Putting that matter aside, the somewhat ironic implication of Ferrari’s ‘technical veto’ is that they believe it can now be deployed to safeguard the interests of (several of) the teams. That is, to rebuff the FIA’s unilateral imposition of the two-tier budget cap rules.

Meanwhile Mosley is counting down the days until the teams have to submit their applications to compete in 2010. The deadline in May 29th, leaving ten days to go.

He has already issued the threat that, if Ferrari win their case today, the FIA will appeal. If the French courts cannot hear that appeal before the 29th, it could leave next year’s technical rules in disarray.

Ecclestone eager for solution

It’s not hard to read an increasing sense of desperation in Bernie Ecclestone’s words as the manufacturers and Mosley stare each other down. If he cannot avoid the FIA driving the manufacturers away his task of maintaining a sufficient level of income from F1 (to service the gigantic loan taken out by CVC to finance their purchase of it) will suddenly become extremely difficult.

Ecclestone is now adamant that the two-tier aspect of the rules will not go ahead. He told the BBC and the Daily Mail:

I think the most important thing that upset everybody, they didn’t like, was this two-tier technical system, so I think it has been agreed that we shouldn’t have that. We should have just one set of regulations.

Of course, it is not up to Ecclestone to decide F1’s regulations – that’s the FIA’s job. With fresh negotiations between all three parties scheduled for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, the most compelling thing Ecclestone can do to improve the chances of the teams overcoming their opposition to budget capping is to offer them more money.

Now, how likely do you think that is?

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

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126 comments on Ferrari to present case against FIA

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  1. luky said on 20th May 2009, 13:53

    this could be the end of ecclstone empire. he will have a lot of millionaire contracts in hand that worth a nearly zero in the near future.

    a new series is doubtful because of the money and time available – but it surely can still have a go only in europe in the first year – a change on racing series is definitely a go.

    don’t think ferrari will back of. nor renault, toyota – or germans bmw and mercedes – even red bull’s will pull out.

    bye bernie i suppose.
    and hope.

  2. Bigbadderboom said on 20th May 2009, 14:06

    It certainly would be interesting to know the specifics of the FOM contracts with the tv rights holders, I have said before that Bernie could be the big looser in this debacle.
    Even if there were to be boycotts for a season I am sure this would effect the terms upon which these contracts were delivered.

    • luky said on 20th May 2009, 16:13

      contracts with tv’s are done by fom with f1 in view.

      all other tv stations are free to deal with a new series.

  3. Win7Golf said on 20th May 2009, 14:38

    Ferrari lose cost cap injunction!
    FIA triumph in the Paris courts…

    The Italian team today claimed that a leaked entry list for the 2010 championship is more appropriate for a GP3 series than Formula One.

    “Wirth Research, Lola, USF1, Epsilon Euskadi, RML, Formtech, Campos, iSport: these are the names of the teams, which should compete in the two-tier Formula One wanted by Mosley,” the team said on its official website.

    “Can a World Championship with teams like them – with due respect – can have the same value as today’s Formula One, where Ferrari, the big car manufacturers and teams, who created the history of this sport, compete? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to call it Formula GP3?”

    Ferrari, along with Renault, Red Bull and Toyota are not expected to submit entries for the 2010 championship by the May 29th deadline.

    Formula One is so dead… and that joke of a man is still there… dictating rules and schedules… God damn it!

    • persempre said on 20th May 2009, 14:48

      Maybe we should take a leaf out of the teams book & form our own association
      The Formula 1 Fan Association.
      F1FA?
      No, we`d confuse the football lot. Easily done, you know ;)

    • scunnyman said on 20th May 2009, 15:02

      Looking at that list you put up Win7Golf i’d have to say if you had a championship grid with those teams in and say a possible Mclaren and williams on the same grid without the other top teams it would be a shambles.

      We would end up with a Formula One just LIke Champcar was in America just after they split into champcar and IRL. Champcar had Newman Haas and a load of rubbish as far as i could accertain.

      I don’t want to watch a championship where all but 2 teams are lapped 20 times (exaggeration i know).

      This saga needs a suitable conclusion for all parties. And i am afraid in my opinion if max mosley is going to carry on being stubborn then that will never happen.

      Maybe Bernie will have to come along with sweeteners for the teams and Max. It would be a mistake to do a 2005 deal again because it would only delay the inevitable again. we would be back to this point in a few years time.

      Just grow up people and get it sorted.

  4. What they need to do is sit down and actually work how they can reduce the amount f1 teams spend! they spend too much its a fact, and nobody new can afford to enter the sport the way it is at the moment.

    They need to make it affordable so that if people drop out new teams can fill in, otherwise it will just dwindle and die as more and more teams can’t afford to stay in the sport!

    If ferrari have to leave to bring the cost down, then let them go. I think it is a mistake on their part though, instead of yeilding childish threats like “i dont like this so i’ll leave”, how about the go ” i dont like this so ill make it better!” If they all work together they can make it cheaper but still as fun. Look at the budgets they ran amazing teams on in the 90’s!

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