Max Mosley is wrong. The only split F1 needs is a break away from him

Max Mosley told the FOTA teams to run their own championship

Max Mosley told the FOTA teams to run their own championship

Max Mosley has told the world that instead of reaching a compromise with the nine FOTA teams, he thinks they should leave F1:

I say to them: If you want to draw up your own rules, then you can organise your own championship. But we have the Formula 1 championship. We draw up the rules for that. We have been doing that for 60 years and we will continue doing so.

It is difficult to believe that the president of the FIA could seriously be advocating a situation where the governing body?s most successful and popular championship is split into two.

Mario Theissen claims it was Mosley?s suggestion that FOTA place a ??conditional? entry to the 2010 championship, which they did last week.

But by agitating for a split Mosley has played into FOTA?s hands. Their argument that the governance of Formula 1 needs reforming has never looked more credible than when Mosley admitted he would rather see F1 split in two than accept that he might not get everything he wants from this debate.

Unlike Mosley, FOTA have been at pains to avoid threatening a split.

Various F1 correspondents have explored the possibilities of them creating a rival championship ?ǣ many pointing to the Ferrari-backed A1 Grand Prix series as a starting point.

But FOTA has frequently stated its desire to keep its teams in F1 and reach an accommodation with the FIA and F1 owners CVC (represented by Bernie Ecclestone).

It is Mosley who has spurned compromise and failed to reach a consensus with the teams.

Some may be tempted to argue that FOTA are holding Mosley to ransom by refusing to accept his demands. I disagree.

Mosley has stated in the past that he has demanded budget capping because the present teams have refused to commit to Formula 1:

Despite my repeated requests, not a single manufacturer has given us a legally-binding undertaking that it will continue in Formula 1
Max Mosley, in a letter to Luca di Montezemolo, April 2009

The manufacturers and supporting teams are now proposing a deal to keep them in the sport until 2012. So why is Mosley talking about a split instead of sealing the deal?

How a split would destroy F1

Pause for a moment to appreciate the full gravity of what Mosley is suggesting by urging the teams to split from F1.

It would mean F1 casting FOTA?s nine teams aside. These have, in their present guises, contested 2,040 Grands Prix, winning 414 races and 55 drivers and constructors’ championships. They are a vital component of the sport, woven deep into the fabric of its history.

We would have two series ?ǣ one calling itself F1, the other containing all bar one of the teams that contested the previous F1 championship.

Drivers and circuits would be caught in the middle. One series might have Spa and Silverstone, Hamilton and Raikkonen. The other Monza and Suzuka, Alonso and Kubica. And both championships would be incomparably weaker propositions.

What of the fans? Some would follow F1. Some would follow the new championship. And many ?ǣ perhaps most ?ǣ would stop watching. The longer it took the two series to re-unify, the worse it would get.

And the same goes for the sponsors which every year pump billions into F1?s coffers.

This is not conjecture. Exactly the same thing happened with the Indy Car championship. It finally re-united last year after 14 years divided – now a pale shadow of its former glory in every respect.

The teams must stay

The FIA President is proposing a development which would rent the world?s biggest motor racing championship in two. It would do huge damage to international motor racing, perhaps irrevocably ruining it.

Max Mosley is not unaccustomed to criticism. But his failure to come to terms with the teams is a new low. He must not be allowed to drive them out of the sport.

Given a choice between keeping the nine teams, and keeping the FIA president, I’d pick the teams.

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203 comments on Max Mosley is wrong. The only split F1 needs is a break away from him

  1. Rabi said on 5th June 2009, 0:05

    If FOTA breakaway I would love to see them to do two things:
    1) Modify the cars so they can race on Ovals and participate in the Indy 500, and
    2) Invest into Monza and rebuild the oval, then invite the IRL and race them on that – the Monza 500

    • Rabi said on 5th June 2009, 0:06

      This would be my “fantasy FOTA calender”:
      01. Adelaide (Australia)
      02. Kyalami (South Africa)
      03. Barcelona (Spain)
      04. Imola (San Marino)
      05. Nurburgring (Germany)
      06. Silverstone (UK)
      07. Magny Cours – widened (France)
      08. Monte Carlo (Monaco)
      09. Montreal (Canada)
      09. Indy 500 (USA)
      10. Zandvoort (Netherlands)
      11. Hockenheim – the old one (Germany)
      12. Monza – inc. oval (Italy)
      13. Spa (Belgium)
      14. Suzuka (Japan)
      15. Singapore (Singapore)
      16. Elkhart Lake (USA)
      17. Interlagos (Brazil)
      18. San Luis (Argentina)

      • Bartholomew said on 5th June 2009, 0:24

        Maybe Road America and Road Atlanta should be considered.
        I like your list very much , Rabi.

        The best drivers, with some old and some new teams, racing on these beautiful tracks with cars that have a reasonable budget cap ( even one close to Max´s proposal ), AND WITHOUT BERNIE AND CVC.
        Max will give his blesing and everyone happy

        START YOUR ENGINES GENTLEMEN !!! and I´m turning on the television and opening the beer can n.1 — cheers my brothas !

        • persempre said on 5th June 2009, 1:15

          Ferrari Challenge is at Road America on 28th, Bartholomew.
          They were at Road Atlanta on April 19th.

      • Texas F1 Fan said on 5th June 2009, 1:07

        No round tracks!!!!

        F1 is cool because they know how to turn right…

      • Isuraeru said on 5th June 2009, 14:49

        Please, don’t forget:

        19. Hermanos Rodriguez (Mexico City)

  2. Prisoner Monkeys said on 5th June 2009, 0:20

    Playing the Devil’s Advocate here, but right now, we need Mosely. At least until the 2010 regulations get passed. If some kind of coup d’etat was staged right now, it would harm Formula One more than help it. Any manager knows that you don’t change the Powers That Be when you’re in the middle of ushering in new changes. Mosely’s replacement would likely jeopardise things even more, and not because of some perceived character slight, but simply because of the change of power from Mosley to him/her.

    Mosley might need to be given his P-45s, but for the sake of the sport, they have to be issued after the regulations have passed and not a moment beforehand.

    • persempre said on 5th June 2009, 0:28

      I think, if anything, you will be more likely to see the big teams go than Max, Prisoner Monkeys.
      Max may well be around to live up to the title of The Man Who Killed F1.

      • Prisoner Monkeys said on 5th June 2009, 1:33

        I’m not saying whether one side or the other will go. Everybody is pouncing at the opportunity to vent their frustrations with Mosley, but my point is that trying to get rid of him right now is not the answer simply because it will hurt more than it will heal.

        Personally, I think Mosley is bluffing a little bit. I can’t imagine that the ten entries submitted so far are all substantial enough to serve as a replacement grid – in fact, the only ones that seem to have a real idea of what they’re getting into are Team US-F1, Lola, Prodrive, Campos and Epsilon Euskadi – and I think he’s trying to scare them into falling in line with his idea.

        Let’s be honest: neither side of the FIA-FOTA dispute wants to see all the current teams exit the sport, but both are arrogant enough to think they can start playing chicken and the other guy will back off first. Everyone instantly derides Mosley as the guilty party, but you can’t claim that FOTA are nothing less than comeplely innocent.

  3. Adam D said on 5th June 2009, 0:26

    Cant disagree with a word that you said there Keith, bloody brilliant article – which im sure FOTA and the teams agree with what uv said.

    Dont quite agree with Eddie above, in that we need 14-15 teams with qualifying limiting 4 drivers out of a race, dont think thats fair exactly. But we need the FOTA teams, of course we want a 26 car grid and hopefully USF1, Prodrive and Campos will get the gigs for next year.

    F1 cant and wont survive without the FOTA teams, you’re right fans would follow the (and the true f1 drivers and teams) FOTA teams over to their new/custom series and the sport would suffer big time. I do wish some1 would give Mosley a good right hook and knock him out. He’s threatening to kill the sport, with his ego and greed.

  4. Jess said on 5th June 2009, 0:33

    remeber the IRL/CART Split or the WoO and the other sereies that lasted a season.

    • Dougie said on 5th June 2009, 0:41

      Keith made a valid point about this, in that FOTA has never mentioned creating a series, and I for one don’t think for a second that FOTA will create a break-away series. They may well continue to race, but FOTA will be dead and the individual teams will do one of 3 things…

      1. Crawl back to Formula 1
      2. Race in other already established series (e.g. LeMans, DTM)
      3. Pack there bags and go home to sell cars.

  5. JayBee said on 5th June 2009, 0:51

    I feel Mosly thinks he is the master of brinkmanship!.
    This situation should never have evolved.
    KERS proving (so far) a big mistake and led a team or 4 up expensive blind alleys at what cost in £’s or euro’s?
    At FIA’s instigation, despite immininent global financial difficulties.
    How many teams regretting not abandoning KERS notions in favour of investing less in chassis and aero to potentially greater effect ?.
    Now we have a 2009 season partially blighted by the double diffuser row, due to vaguely written regs.(did RB not warn?).
    Now without fair warning to the existing teams, a huge budget reduction without consideration to existing contracts (employees, sub-contractors,etc.)
    OK, some of the laid off staff could be picked up by new entrants, but how much technical knowledge could they take with them without another episode of the Ferrari / McLaren spat!.
    Oh by the way, pit space for 13 teams at every circuit, not a problem? I await comments.
    On the positive side, slicks, reduced aero and other changes have produced some great races and a major turnaround in the established pecking order.
    I personally thought JB, with the right car underneath him, was a potential regular a podium driver.
    Come on Red Bull, Ferrari et al, make Brawn and Jenson really earn their potential WDC, WCC and show Max (and to a certain extent Bernie), plus FOTA, what they are jeapordising!.
    Some heads need knocking together over the present situation.
    Are team sponsors and worldwide TV channels looking at alternatives to F1 for 2010/2011? I suspect so.
    F1 has evolved into a global interest / fascination.
    So why risk killing the golden goose?

  6. Number 38 said on 5th June 2009, 0:54

    The FOTA can’t get along with each other, how on earth are they going to run a series by themselves? MadMax knows this and even if they try it will be a dismal flop and MadMax gets the last laugh. MadMax is the problem however and must be done away with somehow.

  7. Jez said on 5th June 2009, 1:01

    Hear hear! FOTA all the way. I just cant believe that Mosley is being such a retard. Is he blind or just a Twat? If all those historic and valuable teams leave F1, its going to take talented drivers with them and its going to die. I possibly agree with the budget cap, but at least introduce it gradually. Not slam a 40 mil number in straight away. Why doesn’t he just get a room with Ecclestone. Mind you, at least he wants the teams to stay… even if he doesn’t want Silverstone. Together, they’re both screwing F1 in to the ground. I guess its a case of…

    F1 is dead. long live FOTA!

  8. manatcna said on 5th June 2009, 1:18

    If FOTA does form a breakaway series (and it’s a big if) I presume that the BBC would follow the FIA setup, i.e. The Carp Series, and not the “Real F1″

    If that is the case, F1 would die.
    Without TV money Formula One couldn’t survive.

    I think Mosley should step down and maybe have a change of career – maybe politics (I think the bNp are looking for new members) – he could wear one of his daddy’s old shirts.

  9. Isuraeru said on 5th June 2009, 1:46

    Please leave Ferrari I will follow you wherever you go!!

  10. Unfortunately this has nothing to do with money and is nothing more than a power-struggle. Max needs all of it, no compromise.

    In my practise/experience, I have come across a wonderful model of the 5 stages of relationships:

    -Power struggle

    Unfortunately, most relationships get the order all wrong, but if we were to accept that the long F1 romance phase is over and we are in a classic power-struggle, then the only way forward is for each side to acknowledge the others position and work out a compromise that allows all involved to come from a position of empowerment and equality. Then integration can happen and commitment (Concord agreement) and co-creation (sharing of power/rule making and revenue) can occur.

    Your 50 minute hour is over, Max. I suggest next week we talk about your sexual predilections and the two sides of the domination/submission coin.

  11. Fer no.65 said on 5th June 2009, 2:36

    I think you missed that one when you did the “Things F1 should learn from USA”:

    The Champcar-IRL spit. That worked so horribly they had to re-unite 14 years later and now it’s rubbish. They truly missed the trick there. I have many magazines from that time that stated Indycar Racing as a possible rival to F1. And few years later, it went burst.

    Why Max wants to do the same?. Even if they do spit, he will end up trying to get those blokes back to F1.

    • Rich said on 5th June 2009, 5:38

      BTW the whole – and I mean the ENTIRE driving force behind that split was Tony George and some others wanting to have American drivers on the Podium one way or another for marketing reasons. “Foreigners” were not wanted! So they decided they’d *only run in circles and hire American drivers. Then there was a huge debate at the time as to just what constituted an “American driver”. Was it Andretti (about as Italian as you can get), or Stewart, or Mears, or Running Bear, or who? So that lasted about 5 minutes and pretty soon ppl from everywhere were back racing in irl. I liked Champ cars for their diversity, and flat out speed, and I believe Ari L still holds the absolute lap record at Indy in one, though I dont remember which.

  12. marvin guillen said on 5th June 2009, 2:48

    max don`t let me smack you on the face………..please!!
    or, i`ll send old bernie to smack you!!
    don`t you know that i love all the current teams.but not you. GO USF1. viva la U.S.A

  13. Jay Menon said on 5th June 2009, 3:15

    This budget cap thing is a good idea, it makes the sport a lot more attractive for privateer teams, which would be great fun.

    I just think they’re going about this the wrong way. I mean, serious, 40 million pounds? Come on! According the Uli Hoeness, that can’t even buy you one of Frank Ribery’s legs, so how are you supposed run an F1 team with that kind of money? The 100 million deal seem reasonable, but will it be enough for the manufacturers? Doubt it.

    The manufacturers don’t want the cap because F1 is a major R&D and marketing tool for them, so 100 million will never be enough. There is no point questioning these corporate devils about their commitment to racing, it a business for them.

  14. Fernando said on 5th June 2009, 3:17

    (In Dumb and Dumber fashion)…. Ok shoot him!

  15. Fernando said on 5th June 2009, 3:20

    Again here is the link to that online petition to oust the pig.

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 5th June 2009, 3:56

      Won’t do anything. If FOTA do not have the power to oust Mosley, do you really think anyone is going to listen to a bunch of fans on the internet, half of whom probably don’t even understand what is going on?

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