Renault and Ferrari re-state their threat not to compete in 2010

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Renault warned its suppliers it may not compete in F1 in 2010
Renault warned its suppliers it may not compete in F1 in 2010

We’ve been getting slightly mixed messages from both camps in the FIA-FOTA battle in recent days which could be read as signs of an impending truce.

But today Ferrari and Renault took steps to highlight the seriousness of their threat not to compete in F1 next year if FOTA’s demands are not met. A letter sent by Renault which arrived with its suppliers this week stated:

Renault Sport must not only substantially reduce its activity, budget and therefore list of suppliers, but may even decide, in the worst case scenario, as mentioned by Bernard Rey and Flavio Briatore on 13 May, not to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship in 2010.

Bernard Rey is the chairman of Renault F1. He is close to Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn who told the French press today:

Today we pay to be in Formula One and that is not normal. Intermediaries have made enough money. We want to take back control of Formula One.

Meanwhile Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali shrugged off suggestions that the team’s contract with the FIA forces them to participate in 2010:

Ferrari’s position has not changed. Back on 29 May, we put in a conditional entry with the other teams that make up FOTA. Along with this entry, we put forward to the FIA a package of proposals which included among other elements, a significant reduction in costs.

As always, we will do all we can to find a solution that is acceptable to all parties. If this is not possible, then the FIA will not be able to include Ferrari in the list of teams entered for the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

It is worth remembering why Ferrari’s attempt to use the French courts to block the FIA’s 2010 rules was rejected. It was not on grounds that the contract was invalid – which might have offered Ferrari a way out of this predicament. It was because the court ruled Ferrari had missed an earlier opportunity to exercise the technical veto afforded to it by the contract.

Perhaps, then, Ferrari’s agreement with the FIA is rather more iron-clad than they would like to believe.

More on the FIA-FOTA row

43 comments on “Renault and Ferrari re-state their threat not to compete in 2010”

  1. Either way we’ll know sooner or later who’s in or out…

    1. Indeed, Friday may very well be one of the most important dates in the history of world motorsport.

      1. ok guys i’m sorry about this post as its completely off topic. but i’m desperate & had no other choice, hope keith won’t mind. i guess there are some rfactor modders here. so i need some help & advice from them. i’ve some good experience in converting rfactor tracks to f1c, but my problem is the other way round conversion i.e. conversion of cars from f1c to rfactor. someone might say why convert from an old game to a new one, but i have my reasons for it. we all know that rfactor uses .gmt instead of a .mts format for the physical model & uses dds instead of bmp for images. i’m sucessfully able to convert from mts to gmt & bmp to dds & repack it into a .mas file using gmotor. now arises the problem part, i’m having problems with the .gen file (vehicle generator) which is a notepad file. how should i organize it? for example in f1c the car suspension is a single model but in rfac its split into 4 differtent parts i.e front left sus,front right,rear left & rear right. should i split the suspension using zmodeler or is there any way round? my next important question is what happens to the dds images? is repacking then it into a .mas file sufficient? will the dds file automatically associate itself with .gmt files? or is it to be done manually? if manually, how? in f1c for example the instance name for suspension is mgsuspa in rfac its called debris. so is renaming necessary for each & every .gmt file in the .gen notepad file? or will the f1c instance name suffice? i would be very grateful if someone helps me out with a tutorial. so ppl thanx in advance. i thank keith for letting me use his blog.

        deeply appreciate any help from anyone. plz

  2. Prisoner Monkeys
    11th June 2009, 0:24

    ow that I think on it, a world without Renault – and, by virtue of that, Flavio Briatore – probably wouldn’t be a bad thing.

  3. Imagine loosing that many teams in one go? And them all being replaced with GP2 teams and other startups running around on restricted budgets while the big players of F1 move onto something else?

    I dread what could potentially come of this. :(

  4. Perhaps, then, Ferrari’s agreement with the FIA is rather more iron-clad than they would like to believe.

    Perhaps they’re prepared to buy out their contract if they have to…

  5. I see Lotus have joined the Brabham family in seeking legal advice about the new teams use of its’ name.

    At this rate with Bernie suing everyone in sight & the old names taking the new teams to court there`ll be more action in the courtrooms than on the track.

    1. & now there`s a rumour that Superfund may have been struck off the list for having an unpaid debt relating to motor racing of nearly 4m euros.

    2. Meanwhile….

      It looks like this is an ‘OK get on with it but we want the world to know you`vegot absolutely nothing to do with us’ to me.

  6. Bernie has truly shown where he stands “I’ll sue them all” he has no interest in anything but his money.
    The sooner the both of them are gone the better.Seems that the teams owner’s have decided that this is there chance to cut them loose so their going to take it.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      11th June 2009, 3:58

      Money isn’t the point of suing them at all. He’s threatning legal action to try and keep them in line in order to protect the idea of Formula One. For example, what happens if FOTA form a rival series, start running races under the name Formula One Grand Prix but are so disorganised that the whole thing is a farce? It discredits the name Formula One, and so Ecclestone would be well within his rights to sue them for unlawfully using a name he has the rights to.

      1. Then why do Bernie and co take half the money out of F1 each year?
        Is that seriously a fair price for the privilege of using two letters?

  7. Perhaps ferrari are prepared to pay whatever the courts make them pay if the FIA take them to court over not competing in 2010 onward, so that they can get the control they and other members of FOTA demand.

    For a non Ferrari fan i stand behind Ferrari and FOTA 100%

  8. Good comment from Guille 2306.
    Also, re-read what Carlos Ghosn says. “Intermediaries have made enough money. We want to take back control of F1.” Fota wants the cost reductions implemented the way they have proposed them, and they want Bernie out. Probably more so than Mosley.

  9. Welcome to the 2010 new-improved GP2 (F1). I hope Ferrari & the other big manufacturers to create their own series and show to the fans (especially Max & Bernie) what is the real “F1.”

    Go FOTA! :)

  10. There’s no rule that say’s ferrari has to actually be competitive is there? Even if they’re forced to enter. We’ll just have to get used to watching kimi eating icecreams.

    1. Good point, even if Ferrari and Renault are on Max’s list of entries, they don’t need to turn up do they?
      And if they disband their F1 teams, who is Bernie going to sue?

    2. Ferrari will take a branding hit if they show up with a minimal or C-team because if they do that, they’ll always show up at the bottom of the charts in the WDC and WCC. The die-hard fans will know what’s going on, but definitely not a casual fan.

      Me thinks, if they run they’ll run with a reasonable team and presence.

  11. i am not a history fan i am a racing fan i dont care who is on track as long as the racings good

  12. i recon it will work itself out. But the reality is the only thing Bernie can stop is the teams using the name Formula 1. There is nothing stopping the teams starting another series. There is nothing that even commits them to f1. bernie did not sue honda, minardi or any other teams for leaving because there was not concorde agreement.

    I bet there will be only 1 maximum 2 new teams next year of which will be supporte by FOTA with engine gearbox et etc, and have cars over 2 seconds off the pace. Bernie is up the sh8T if FOTA leaves because all his contract will be in breach and everyone will be chasing there money.

    1. What abous using F1R

      Formual One Racing!!!!

  13. Why did Max tell FOTA to put in conditional entries, only to then tell them to rescind the conditions? To allow them to “discuss” the rules?

    The latter move seems so disingenuous to me as to make me think that Max takes them all (and us) to be fools. If they remove the conditions then they have a legally binding contract that says that they have to obey the current 2010 rules and they will only be allowed to change them if the FIA agrees from the goodness of its heart. And we all know what Max’s heart looks like – cold, hard and black (with a few whip marks across it).

    1. Max has made an “offer” to the new teams to compete under the new 2010 regulations and they have “accepted” his offer by submitting unconditional entries.

      My rather shaky understanding of law is that this is a contract, so if he gives in to FOTA then the new teams can sue the FIA. His only way out is to get unconditional entries from all and then try to negotiate terms with everyone. What a nightmare!

      1. oops should have read that 2nd paragraph. sorry

    2. The conditions that FOTA put on their entry were ridiculous. They demanded the signing of their version of a Concorde agreement till 2012. It’s no surprise Mosley had no interest in signing that on such short notice.

      1. As it’s ridiculous that Mosley ask the teams to commit to a massive change in the way they work, including laying off much of their personnel, on an equally short notice. And then, the new Concorde Agreement is being discussed since 2005-2006, budget cap only since January of this year…

        1. Yeah and?

  14. Is anyone else starting to think this won’t be resolved by Friday, when the 2010 entries are due to be published?

    1. Is anyone else starting to think this won’t be resolved by Friday in Melbourne 2010…

  15. How many people here will stop accessing F1 Fanatic if Fota Drop out of F1?

    is it only me that is curious to see what might happen if the split actually happens?

    For me, personally, i am looking forward to see how a capped F1 will look like, and in case of split, i’m gagging to find out what the teams will come up with as a formula… unlimited revs, derestricted aero…. one tyre, limited fuel, the possibilities are endless, and if they produce racing like we see in DTM… that would be beneficial to all.

    BUT>>>> wont they need the FIA’s approval in order to run a sport? isn’t it a world order that any motor sport should run under FIA authority?

    1. Max has said at least twice that if the FOTA group want to set up a new series, they will have support from the FIA.
      Surely this is a barbed gesture, since FOTA are trying to get away from FIA control.
      Or maybe Max really does take everyone for fools…..

    2. but not necessarily as FIA Championships with regualtions made by the FIA.
      The many International Series that run (for instance A1GP, GP2, Porshe Supercup, DTM, Le Mans etc.) make their own regs.
      There`s a big difference.
      The list of actual FIA Championships is here

  16. Mosley is meeting the teams in London today.

  17. Mouse Nightshirt
    11th June 2009, 14:44

    I suspect we’ll see a list that has Williams, Force India, Ferrari and the new teams on it to start. After that, I reckon the FIA will not allow Renault in to prove a point, because at the end of the day, as much as we love seeing historic teams, the public don’t care enough about the midfield.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      11th June 2009, 19:53

      Do I believe this, do I not believe this?

      Fernando Alonso and Luca di Montezemolo have apparently scheduled a meeting at the Circuit de la Sarthe where the famous 24 Heures du Mans will take place this weekend. The purpose of this meeting? It is whispered that the future of the Spanish driver at Ferrari will be on the agenda of this meeting!
      In fact, the President of Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo who will be at Le Mans for the race to see Audi and Peugeot battle for victory, wants to meet Fernando Alonso and discuss his future. Meanwhile, the Renault F1 Team driver who will be there for pleasure did not decline this invitation.

      The rumour is that this secret meeting was to be explained as the two men are talking about the future of Formula 1, which has been shaken to its core following a fight between FOTA (Manufacturers Association) and the FIA. Whereas the real reason for the meeting, it is whispered, is that if a breakaway championship was to emerge next year, Ferrari would enter three cars in this new series with Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso on board.

  18. Reason for Ferrari and Renault quitting:t
    they haven’t been performing as well as expected this year.

    Reason for Bernie sueing some of the teams:

    He needs to make up quickly for his losses in his recent divorce

  19. …..or perhaps they could tell Mr Ecclestone and Mr Mosley exactly what they think of the way F1 is being destroyed by FOM and FIA by calling the new series

    EFF-ORFF ?

  20. The underlying problem for Bernard Ecclestone is that a rival series may prove more popular and better run than his own. The root cause of this so called ‘war’ is pure greed, and reaches far further than just the teams and the FIA.
    When we look back over the last half dozen years at all of the circuits ‘priced out’ of Formula One by Ecclestone and his bean counters, it is not difficult to see that this standoff has been a long time coming.
    It is no secret that the teams strongly disliked the decision to not have any North American races, as well as their sponsors. A new series, with world famous brand names behind them, could quite easily return to pastures previously ‘dumped’ by Bernie Ecclestone, in Europe and overseas.
    Ecclestone has for years harboured ambitions to break heavily into the Asian marketplace, leaving behind core audiences in Europe and elsewhere behind. It is not difficult to imagine that the teams and sponsors maybe not so excited as Ecclestone as to race in South Korea as opposed to France, San Marino, and possibly Great Britain.
    The overwhelming scary thing about a split is the fatal damage that was inflicted to American openwheel racing when the IRL was carved up fourteen years ago.
    It just goes to show how bad things have become in Formula One if the teams are willing to take such a risk. The sport is really being run into the ground, and has been for many many years. There are way too many political figures in F1, and far too many bad decisions during races from officials that have put too many noses out of joint.
    In many ways, the loss of Honda F1 opened many eyes. Here was an organisation that had spent billions of dollars in F1 for limited return to say the least. Not alone are companies such as Honda, and BMW, who have invested simular amounts of money for very little reward.
    To add insult to injury, along comes Ross Brawn, with a restricted ‘shoestring’ budget, to dominate a season that was meant to be the most competitive season in decades. It is not difficult to imagine how badly aggrieved these teams are, knowing that things will get worse next year when more teams arrive on the scene.
    The rules have to be decided, and set in stone. If the FIA are incapable of coming up with rules that make sense, and are governable properly and fairly, then they are no longer relavent as an organisation.
    They are just a ten pound weight, dragging the sport under. If all Bernie Ecclestone can do is issue threats, then it seems to me that FOTA have less to lose than they thought.
    These are smart men, who for years have made billions from Formula One, but have become blinded by greed and self interest. The president of the FIA has done nothing to ease the tensions, and deserves nothing less than a P45.
    I would gladly watch a breakaway series, as I am so distraught at the way F1 is being lead. Its time to shut Ecclestone down, once and for all.

    1. BrawnGP is not running on a “shoestring” budget. At least not this season.

      1. Yeah, but we should not underestimate that most of the casual fans DO think that. And Max is willing to show BrawnGP as an example of how an efficient and small team can beat the big corporations that spend billions, making look the constructors as the source of all the bad the F1 has…

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