FOTA claims to support the fans – but do the fans support FOTA? (Poll)

FOTA's eight F1 teams are demanding changes to how F1 is run

FOTA's eight F1 teams are demanding changes to how F1 is run

In a press conference before the start of today’s Le Mans 24 Hours, Ferrari president and FOTA boss Luca di Montezemolo said:

In a couple of years the problem with Formula 1 will be solved – as I really hope, with a responsible FIA, as we want, or, as happens in other sports, organising our own championship.

FOTA claimed yesterday that F1 fans share its objections. It seems to me the best way to put that claim to the test is to run a poll…

Who do you support in the FIA-FOTA row?

  • The FIA (7%)
  • FOTA (83%)
  • Neither (10%)

Total Voters: 2,325

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I am not happy with how the FIA has handled the budget cap debate – or, for that matter, similar discussions over the future rules of F1 in recent years.

F1 has never strayed too far from controversy. But in recent years it seems to have become impossible for the governing body to sort out even the most minor of matters without kicking up an almighty fuss.

The prospect of F1 facing a split with as many as eight teams leaving the sport is not a pleasant one – and I hope it won’t come to that.

But I think FOTA have the best solutions to everyone’s problems, have put forward their side of the argument intelligently and, unlike the FIA, without recourse to needless provocation and antagonism.

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317 comments on FOTA claims to support the fans – but do the fans support FOTA? (Poll)

  1. Owen G said on 13th June 2009, 21:29

    My vote went for the FIA with the following reasons:

    1. The poll says “FIA” not Max Mosely. The sport needs to be run by an impartial governing body with the right leader. If there was another option for “FIA without Mosely” I would have voted for that.
    2. I think it’s very naive to think that FOTA have the best interests of the sport and fans at heart. I’m pretty sure if Ferrari or McLaren could guarantee a title by making sure Williams were no longer in the sport they’d happily get rid. At the moment it’s more beneficial to put up a united front but each team will do what’s best for itself in the long run. No question.
    3. I think a budget cap (bigger than the 40m originally proposed) is the best way to reduce costs. It allows a lot more freedom than standardised cost cutting and would result in the cream rising to the top.

    The main reasons the fans are disgruntled are probably the chopping and changing of rules, dodgy stewarding and the traditional tracks being replaced by soulless, flat bore-rings. There are 2 people responsible for all of the above in my opinion – Mosely and Ecclestone. Replace these two with the right people and things will improve.

  2. LynnD said on 13th June 2009, 22:14

    I read here all the time but haven’t been commenting on this subject, because I really did think the PTBs would get this sorted out before now – but no.

    The result of the poll is pretty conclusive (FOTA running at over 80% after 500 votes). For a long time I felt very alone as a neutral fan – I don’t support any particular team or driver. I didn’t really think that the FIA was pro-Ferrari or anti-McLaren… until the latter half of last season, at which point the evidence really began to mount, and the long-simmering Mosley-Dennis feud became brutally obvious. However, I really hoped that once Ron stepped aside, Max would take a more balanced attitude. The reverse has been the case – he seems to have taken it as a sign that he can do anything.

    So when people say they support FOTA in this poll, I’m guessing that many of them would have the same two wishes that I do:

    1. Max should step down. I feel sorry for the man to be honest… he’s clearly brilliant, but profoundly damaged by his background. I wish he’d go and get some professional help, instead of acting out his control issuesand desire for humiliation by destroying the F1 championship. He did a lot of good work in the past, but bluntly I think the man has gone bonkers.

    2. Bernie and CVC simply cannot be allowed to continue funnelling half a billion a year out of F1 to pay off obscene debts that the sport did not run up. Surely now would be a good time for Bernie to go bust, since his ex-wife is preumably due 50% of the lot. This leeching of 50% of the turnover of F1 is the [b]sole[/b] root for the “unsustainability” of F1.

    So. FOTA is on the right track – not for the sake of the fans of course, except inasmuch as they want us to buy hats and t-shirts… and cars :) At this stage I do in fact think FOTA is going to be forced to split off, unless someone in the higher echelons of the WMSC does an ides of M(uch) A(dvertised) R(acing) C(ar) H(oax).

    • VXR said on 14th June 2009, 1:18

      The result of the poll is pretty conclusive (FOTA running at over 80% after 500 votes).

      I think that 800 votes and only 52 comments tells another story.

      I think that it’s all too easy to get caught up in the ‘Max is the spawn of the devil’ bandwagon and vote accordingly.

      • LynnD said on 14th June 2009, 2:39

        It’s also easy to dismiss a considered opinion that Max’s actions have been the primary cause of the chaos over the past couple of years. I was simply trying to frame my opinion by explaining that I don’t have anything against the man personally, and that I feel sorry for him, having to deal with all this and his personal problems and tragedies too. Hardly “spawn of the devil” – just not the person I believe is best-placed to resolve the current crisis.

        In addition, he has demonstrated a deep-rooted inability to be seen to lose a negotiation… therefore if this is going to be resolved in the direction that I would like it to go (assuming that my opinion as a fan is as valid as anyone else’s?) – Max has to go.

        Rather a clear chain of reason I thought, but if you prefer to dismiss it as jumping on the bandwagon, suit yourself.

  3. arporter said on 13th June 2009, 22:16

    Most fans tend to support a particular team therefore its the teams that facilitate the fans of the sport (within the fom / fia organised competition) therefore I believe that the FIA should meet FOTA somewhere in the middle, this does not seem to be the case. If they do not do this fans will be lost in the short term, in the detriment to the sport until a new fan base is developed again over time. I know I won’t be watching with the same degree of interest if the existing rivalry’s don’t exist.

  4. Brian said on 13th June 2009, 22:21

    If you own a business, will you spend more than you can afford? Not if your smart. These teams are their own seperate business. Let them spend as much as they want. If then they can’t afford and “go out of business” then there will always be someone to replace them.
    if they want to spend more money than they can afford, then let them run themselves into the ground!
    FIA is being stupid. Check that. Mosely is being stupid.
    I say its time to start making flags and plastering them all over cars and proudly announcing that we are on the side of FOTA. I’m sick and tired of men in suits dictating sports. I’ve seen it in the NHL and I sure as hell don’t want it to ruin F1!

    • VXR said on 14th June 2009, 1:05

      If then they can’t afford and “go out of business” then there will always be someone to replace them.

      That’s the problem with not having a budget cap,there would not be anyone to replace them.

      The problem with letting say Ferrari spend their $500,000,000 and lets say Force India spending their $100,000,000 (both obsene amounts of money for putting two cars on a grid 17 times a year I should say)is that sooner or later FI are going to call it a day,and then there’s a space available,but guess what? No one wants it because they know that they need something like $500,000,000 to be competetive,and then Mr Mateschitz wants to sell STR (it’s for sale now),but guess what? No ones interested because they know they need…and so on and so forth until there’s only a few teams left.

      • Patrickl said on 14th June 2009, 12:05

        Indeed. In 1989 there were 20 teams. 2009 there are only 10 left. It’s been a steady decline.

  5. Brian said on 13th June 2009, 22:31

    one more thing. I know that sport needs to become cheaper. But the teams need to do for themselves. I guarantee that if the teams have a budget imposed on them, they will look for ways of cutting corners “legally” of course. I don’t want to say that someone will get hurt but its likely.

  6. phil c said on 14th June 2009, 0:01

    I have read several arguments but the reality is f1 is show business. All the billions of dollars in the sport is a direct result of the teams within it. The issue with f1 is funding, plain and simple. F1 is the only sport were the teams within it get on 50% of the tv revenue generated from it. The suits and bernie make more money then the teams yet, the do nothing for the sport. They do not create a show, they do nothing. The issue for FOTA is simple, without them there is no f1. If the manufactures leave, there will be no f1. F1 is supported by manufactures from engines, electronics (no mclaren ECU), gearbox. Three essitenial components to any car. Manufactures leave how the hell is campos going to develop a competitive package, it will be impossible.

    Cost reduction is essiential and FOTA supports that, but what max is proposing is ridiculous, in addition to this there is a massive human toll which is why ACEA is involved to paint max as the ultimate villian. You cannot expect any business to all of sudden reduce cost by as much as 90% in one year, that is what max is proposing. Teams cannot tell 250 poeple to bugger off because some person on a power trip said so. They have esblished themseleves legally and to have some clown all of a sudden say, because your better then some other teams we are going to force you to down size.

    Not only this it is impossible to regulate a budget cap. This can only work in sports like football, rugby etc etc not motorsport. Italy operate different to the uk in wage requirements, value of the EURO vs the Pound taxs etc etc.

    The think that gets to me is we had ten current teams in FOTA which put forward a package which they all supported to reduce cost in a proper way, yet this moron did not except it for 3 teams which have never built an f1 car and not contributed one thing to f1. I dont understand. Personally a rival series needs to start f1 will die, and FOTA will be the new premier class. f1 revenue will collapse instantly Bernie, CVC and Max disappear. F1 name is popular but the teams within it made it popular.

  7. nopk said on 14th June 2009, 0:25

    I’m very surprised to see so many people support FOTA.

    I wasn’t expecting it.

    I am, because I think they’re right.

  8. Andrew said on 14th June 2009, 1:03

    FOTA, I think… I don’t quite understand that quote; it is worded strangely.

  9. m0tion said on 14th June 2009, 1:19

    I don’t support FOTA because I don’t think they are the right people to own & run race teams.

    I don’t support CVC and Bernie because the CVC inflated investment was a dud with no prospect of recovery and there has to be a deep loss taken that can either wipe them out or wipe the sport out or both.

    I don’t support what was done to Mosely and there has to be a far deeper price paid than what has been done to date.

    I do support world motorsport being in the hands of the national federations and not in the hands of British industry and the odd German and Italian. There is very little recognition of this British economic imperialism and how cost barriers to entry for teams located away from British engineering bases are not good for the sport long term.

    Should Max go? Probably … because the circumstances command it. But there is so little talent and so many bent screws out there with the former team owners and drivers that hang on to the sport that finding a replacement will be difficult. An Alonso given 20 years to mature and show himself as successfull in lesser businesses might be the right style of guy with the necessary smarts but when you look at the Stewart’s and Lauda’s etc you don’t see the smarts needed. They need the likes of a John O’Neil of Sydney Olympics and Australian Rugby heritage.

  10. Prisoner Monkeys said on 14th June 2009, 1:19

    At this point, I support neither. I just want the war to be over.

  11. Andy said on 14th June 2009, 2:21

    I have been following this closely for the last 12 months. I cannot even believe some comments are supporting a budget cap. People wake up. This is F1. This is the pinnacle of motorsport. This is expensive. This is where the glitz and glamour belong. The teams are ok. The engine suppliers are ok. This is a high stakes game. The fans pay a lot to watch races. There are lots of advertisers willing to pay serious dollars to be part of this sport. (I am not even including tobacco companies with deep pockets)

    What we need is a change in FIA. That racist arrogant person should leave the sport alone. I have been following F1 for the last 20 years. Never missed a single race. If Max mosley and the FIA will continue their stupid ridiculous actions which forces the teams to leave the sport, F1 will lose millions of loyal fans like me.

    Imagine. We already have no Micheal. Now, think about No Kimi, No Massa, No Lewis, No Frenando.. I mean lets be realistic. No ferrari, Mclaren.. come on.

  12. Andy said on 14th June 2009, 2:23

    So to add to my previous comment:

    In simple sentence. I support FOTA. Any sane person would.

  13. GQsm said on 14th June 2009, 3:19

    I think Max must send trolls to this site.

    At my last glance 82% back FOTA yet there are people on this site that are making unproportionate noise in favour of the FIA.
    The FIA’s (or rather Mosley’s) governance of F1 is shambolic, they can’t even nip a diffuser debate in the bud before it blows up, they are incompetent, the rules and punishment depend on the team in question, no other mainstream sport in the world has so much incompetence and sleaze associated with it’s governing body.

    No one in their right mind can think a dictatorship that goes against the fans, teams and drivers wishes is best for the sport (See FOTA fans survey, not Max’s made up survey). Surely most people here live in a democracy and realise it’s required to stop one mentalist having absolute power to the detriment of everyone they are supposed to be leading.
    Wake up people – FOTA is made up of teams and team principles that are answerable to many. Mosley is answerable only to bought, corrupt FIA votes (The West isn’t that tollerable of adulterous S&M orgies with prostitutes, let alone most other countries where religion has more influence in their society).
    If F1 was a country it would be North Korea, head of state plays with bombs while his people suffer and starve but the power hungry fiend doesn’t care as long as he is in power.

    The teams don’t need to run the sport but they need to be listened to and not held to ransom, they are the sport. All this new team spiel is way overvalued. I would like to see a full grid with a few new teams, but if I wanted to watch budget handicapped small time racing then I would watch one of the many other single seater series. New teams should not be at the expense of the existing ones.

  14. Choltz said on 14th June 2009, 4:44

    I see the team principles of FOTA being only answerable to the boards of directors of the large companies they work for, I don’t see how that is any good as it comes down to money, sponsors, image.. when it should be about racing, so I can’t support FOTA.

    The FIA has also handled this horribly, so I can’t back them.

    Oh well, as I watch the 24h of LeMans, I can only hope that the FOTA teams leave so I can see Ferrari move up to LMP1 and Williams dominate F1 :)

    • Martin said on 14th June 2009, 5:10

      After watching Williams for the last several seasons, the break away by Fota is the only way they will dominate F1. They used to be the best team out there even when they where working with the least, but they just cant seem to find their way for the last 5 or 6 seasons, and budgets werent the reason as they had bug money behind them.

      • Choltz said on 14th June 2009, 5:22

        I was thinking this was going to be the season Williams could turn it around, but they have failed as a team again. Hard to be a fan sometimes! :)

  15. Martin said on 14th June 2009, 5:06

    For those of you that voted for the FIA, they created this mosnster. As others have stated the large bond for new teams was the FIA’s way of guaranteeing that the team had the resources to compete properly, now the want a buget cap that is only slightly more than the bond,…come on guys.
    They want a ban on refeuling.. they(FIA) brought refeuling and tire stops in as a way to create an new dynamic into the race…That arguement isnt valid.
    The double diffuser, Ross Brawn himself as a member of the technical committte told the FIA that there was a loophole there and he was shut down. So he exploits it and everyone tries to make him and the other 2 teams into villans.
    The FIA is like a large government agency.. everything they try to legislate turns into a joke as the engineers find ways around them.
    There is no way that they can ever effectively police the budget cap. And the best way for them to police it is to not have one as they will always be 1 step behind.
    For those of you that voted for the FIA and say that you are not voting for Max.. pull your heads out of the sand..Max is the FIA and he has ruined it. He and his group of new order for F1 have destroyed the very sport I have watched for 40+ years. FOTA can do no worse than Max and Bernie. If it gets the cars back to racing at the tracks they belong on then I am all for it. Bring back San Marino, Montreal, Paul Ricard or Magny Cours, I will take old Hockenheim anyday but the new on will work. Please oh please get away from all these new neutered tracks designed by H.Tilke.
    I will repeat Max and Bernie = the death of F1, bring on FOTA.

    • Choltz said on 14th June 2009, 5:26

      I am pretty sure refueling was brought in by Bernie’s team Brabham back in the day, not the FIA.

      • Laconic said on 15th June 2009, 10:44

        True enough, the Brabham team, owned by Bernie Ecclestone, introduced in-race refueling during the 1982 season. There was no rule at the time covering this aspect of racing.

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