FOTA teams offer three-year F1 deal but will Max Mosley accept it?

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

The FOTA teams have offered to compete in F1 until at least 2012
The FOTA teams have offered to compete in F1 until at least 2012

The news that the nine remaining FOTA-aligned teams (Williams excluded) have submitted applications to contest the 2010 F1 championship ahead of the May 29th deadline has been given a warm reception.

But this is not a white flag from FOTA. They are demanding that their teams can compete “on an identical regulatory basis” in 2010 (i.e. not under a ‘two-tier’ rules system), want a new Concorde (commercial) Agreement signed by June 12th and, most significantly, have not accepted the FIA’s demands on budget capping.

This appears to be an attempt to call Mosley’s bluff and dare him to exclude them from the championship. At the same time a small number of new entrants have publicly confirmed they will enter in 2010. So what will happen next?

Among the teams which have declared they will compete under the FIA rules in 2010 are USF1, Lola, Prodrive (later to become Aston Martin) and Campos. Plus, of course, FOTA renegades Williams.

Other racing outfits previously linked with future F1 entries under the new rules, which have not publicly confirmed their plans for next year, include Racing Engineering, Ray Mallock Limited, Formtech, iSport, Epsilon Euskadi, Litespeed and Nick Wirth’s team.

FOTA’s opposition to the FIA’s proposals and, as much as anything else, its method of governance, gets a lot of symnpathy from me. Here’s how Toyota’s John Howett explains it:

We’re all looking to working collaboratively and proactively with the FIA and to really stop all of this political positioning and focusing on improving the sport. That’s what FOTA is really proven to do this year, with more availability of drivers, trying to improve TV coverage, more telemetry data.

We just want to compete on an even playing field, we are all capable of managing our businesses constructively, we’re all open to discuss on how we can integrate new entrants in a professional and correct way. The one thing that’s always missed is that we need to grow the cake and we need to understand how much of the remainder of the revenue is re-invested in the sport.

There are a lot of rumours at the moment that manufacturer teams such as Toyota and Renault will be forced to give up their F1 teams by their boards as the pressures of the recession continue to mount. FOTA’s offer of a commitment from its teams to participate for the next three seasons (until 2012) appears to undermine those rumours.

Viewed at its most pessimistic, this is a situation where the fault lines between two warring factions have cracked further apart. The likelihood of a destructive split in F1 is arguably greater than ever.

But if Mosley thinks FOTA have gone far enough to meet his demands of a long-term commitment to the sport, an easing of F1’s political tensions is in sight.

Either way, now the ball is in Mosley’s court. What will he do?

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48 comments on “FOTA teams offer three-year F1 deal but will Max Mosley accept it?”

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  1. I want Ferrari out of F1.

  2. It is interesting to see that Red Bull/Torro Rosso, Force India and Brawn GP have all followed the FOTA lead, when really it would be more in their interests to go with the FIA budget cap, as Williams did.
    I take it that Prodrive, USF1 and Campos are basically the first three on the new entrants list to fill the available spaces, and if the FOTA conditions aren’t met and all the other teams withdraw their entries, then the other new entrants will fill the remaining spaces.
    I wonder how many Team Principles, Drivers and Engineers would switch to the new teams if that happened?
    I think Bernie is playing the power-broker in this situation, since he was at the FOTA meeting in Monaco and has Max’s ear. Its in his (and CVCs) interests to keep both parties talking. I also wonder, if he has the power to represent various circuits around the world, does he also represent the F1 teams at some level as well? We may find that he has a finger in every pie available. Bernie for FIA President maybe??

  3. well, if budget caps is the way to go, then there is no scope for new technology like kers. teams have spent millions perfecting the system. it will inadvertedly reduce all this and what the independent teams do? buy everytihng. i encourage independent teams but its a waste running them on bought parts. u design and u race. already u use a customer engine, drive train, gearbox kers what about the chassis too? just change the sponsor logo and voila u get a new team. manufacturers are not dunces. if there is unneceassary spending, wont their board look into it? so let the teams set their own limits. provide stable rules. automatically they will reduce their unwanted incomes. also some time back max was talking about green f1. what happened to those? spose such development is done, it can be used in other categories too. budget vapping is not the way.

  4. It would seem that FOTA have either not yet submitted a valid entry or have agreed with all the 2010 regulations because the actual application form is written into the 2010 regulations and cannot be altered in any way.

    If they’ve filled in seperate forms and signed them with a note attached with their ‘conditons’ on,then the note will be ignored and they will have legally signed up to the 2010 regulations in their entireity.If they have ‘spoiled’ the form in any way then it will be an invalid entry because the application has not been submitted correctly.The same applies if they have not signed the form.

    1. Interesting breakdown…

  5. You can argue until you are blue in the face about who is morally right or wrong.But if you aren’t legal then there is no point in being either.

  6. I hope max takes the teams on and a new championship starts. f1 is worthless without these nine teams, and no new teams can even compete. The damage to the sport in its first year without these nine teams will be massive that revenue will cease and the actual owners of the sport will sue the FIA/bernie in addition to the lawsuits from every tv network, tracks, and sponsership contract. That is the risk the FIA is running. That 100million they ripped off mclaren will be gone. There is more money for the teams if they start there own championship then too stick around. Going to a race will be cheaper and you get to see all the big names/teams and drivers. It funny of all the valid entires they will be forced to run a cosworth engine because i dont see the manufactures giving any engines.

  7. I have a crazy idea. Will it be good for if we allow small teams to enter 1 car while others that can afford big budgets can run two cars?

    Mosley wants new teams to come into F1. Therefore no budget caps, you make both ends meet, then everybody is happy! :)

    1. Nice idea, but the major costs in F1 are in the development of the car and not the running of it, and it’s the same development costs regardless of you running 1 car or 5 cars.

  8. Texas F1 Fan
    2nd June 2009, 19:15

    Williams said they signed up first because they had a 3 year contract with FIA (IIRC). Are they the only ones that were contractually obligated to sign up for 2010, or did the other 9 teams withhold even though they had contracts? Is this why FOTA suspended Williams? What disciplinary actions will the FOTA take against Williams for its lack of solidarity?

    1. Good questions- I think my post below builds on that same line of thinking.

  9. For me, the big question is not so much what new teams get in (as long as USF1 is there i’ll be happy) but if any of the current teams will not get in. Allow me to explain.

    I think Max knows that the sport is much better off with Ferrari than without it- the same goes for Red Bull and some others. But the one I really am interested in is Toyota. Not only have they opposed Max all the way, but they are the opposite of everything Max is pushing for- big spenders with few results to show for it. I wonder if Max could exclude them and get rid of them for good, while holding them up as an example of why the teams should not mess with the FIA. And if Toyota and/or any other current entry was rejected, how would FOTA with their “all or nothing” attitude respond as a group?

  10. There is evidence to sugggest that Ferrari are already signed up to the 2010 regulations anyway.It’s ‘special’ deal with the FIA and Bernie meant that it had no need to submit an entry in the same way that other teams have,it is already commited to F1 until 2012.It also had a veto to stop the 2010 regulations coming into being but failed to use it!

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