Today the FIA is due to finally announce its F1 teams entry list for 2010 – the consequences of which could be far-reaching for Formula 1.
There have been signs in recent days that Max Mosley and the eight remaining teams represented by FOTA might be close to a compromise solution.
The list published by the FIA today will tell us whether it believes a compromise is workable or if it’s resigned to driving many of the existing teams out of the sport.
Update: The FIA’s list has been published – see the comments for details.
The row has dragged on for so long that, amid all the talk of a breakaway championships and changes in the technical regulations, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important.
What began as a discussion on how to guarantee the long-term future at the sport has turned into a conflict that arguably places it in even greater jeopardy than the recession does.
Max Mosley insisted that, as none of the manufacturer teams had agreed to commit to Formula 1 for the future, it is essential that F1 run to a budget cap.
Although he has still not conceded that fundamental point, yesterday it emerged that he had suddenly yielded on several key areas – for example, potentially allowing a cap of €100m which is more than the €47m originally proposed.
Mosley remains fixed on the idea of a budget cap despite the FOTA teams having offered him the commitment he demanded until at least 2012. One therefore has to ask whether what he really wanted all along was not a commitment from the teams to stay in F1, but something else.
Among the points conceded by Mosley yesterday were:
- Potential increase of the cap to €100m followed by a ‘glide’ towards a lower limit
- Exemptions from the budget cap for highly-paid staff other than drivers
- Not giving performance advantages to budget-capped teams
- Signing of a new Concorde Agreement (to define the future governance of the sport and distribution of income)
Aside from sticking to his plan for some form of a cap, this amounts to a U-turn on almost every one of Mosley’s positions. But one thing is conspicuously missing from Mosley’s offer – any mention of reform to the governance of F1.
This has become a significant issue for the teams, tired of the endless political bickering that goes on in Formula 1, and seeing Mosley as the one responsible for it.
Mosley had previously indicated he will make a decision this month on whether he will stand for another term as president of the FIA. Are the teams holding out for an assurance that he will not run again come October?
The point at which reconciliation was the smart thing to do passed a long time ago. Now it is the only thing to do.
As I wrote last week, I firmly believe the FIA should have taken up the teams’ offer of a deal for the next three years. I hope later today we will not be ruing their failure to seize that opportunity.
- Renault and Ferrari re-state their threat not to compete in 2010
- Is this F1’s worst crisis?
- Max Mosley is wrong. The only split F1 needs is a break away from him
- FOTA teams offer three-year F1 deal but will Max Mosley accept it?
- Ferrari are wrong to oppose new teams
- The FIA must not let its row with Ferrari become a split that would destroy F1