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)

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  1. Patrickl said on 15th June 2009, 19:34

    Still missing BMW, Toyota, McLaren and Brawn

    Here’s BMW:

    “I think whatever we do, if it’s a monetary figure or if it’s another form to cut resources, we have to police it and I think it can be policed,” the German said.

    “If we were not convinced it can be policed we wouldn’t expend any effort on it but I think it can be done with a bit of good will on all sides and the right spirit. It can be done,” added Theissen.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/72900

    MT: We have had very extensive discussions on budget cuts last year. In principle we have always supported the budget cap instead of individual technical restrictions because very simply if you want to save money you should limit money and not something else.

    So in our view this is a very valid approach, you can always argue about the figure then, but the principle of going to a budget cut and allowing the teams to spend the money in areas they think will make them competitive, is something we would approve.

    Q. Would a budget cap be difficult to police?

    MT: I think it wouldn’t be that difficult. If you police a budget cap it’s just one figure you have to police. In my view it’s much more difficult if you don’t achieve a budget cap and come up with individual restrictions like wind tunnel use or, simulator use, or whatever.

  2. Patrickl said on 15th June 2009, 19:46

    Ron Dennis then:

    http://www.motorsportmagazine.co.uk/2008/04/02/ron-dennis-speech-for-the-motor-sport-business-forum-in-the-middle-east/

    Budget-caps are the latest idea. I support any idea that reduces costs in Formula 1. Yes, Formula 1 is expensive to do well – but that doesn’t mean that well-run teams aren’t also well controlled financially, with budgets strictly adhered to. I like to think of myself as a businessman, an entrepreneur. But I’m also a racer, through and through.

    For me, the two things go hand in hand. And for Formula 1 to continue to thrive in the way it has thrived all these years, we’ll need rules that foster freedom of entrepreneurship, but we’ll also need rules that encourage close and competitive racing. And if we can frame those rules in such a way as to keep costs in check, or even reduce costs, so much the better.

    Whitmarsh said:

    “The best solution may or may not include a budget cap, but ideally would not encompass a two-tier regulatory framework.”

  3. VXR said on 15th June 2009, 19:49

    Yeah,looking back it’s interesting what they’ve all previously said before.

    It’s the same thing as when regular ‘free-thinking’ kids join a gang.Their opinions go out of the window,and only the opinion of the whole is championed on.And then when you want out because you don’t like the way things are looking……

    • Patrickl said on 15th June 2009, 20:10

      Yeah I was amazed how positive they all were. Even Ferrari.

      I completely agree with Ross Brawn that the budget cap allows for more freedom and ingenuity rather than the cost cutting measures which don’t work anyway.

      Maybe the big teams really did change their mind after they found that this year they are getting beaten hands down by two small teams (Brawn and Red Bull). Maybe it dawned on them that without their extra money they would be completely unable to defend themselves in situations like this.

      On the other hand we haven’t heard any coherent complaints from teams besides Toyota and Ferrari. I mean we cannot take Briatores ramblings seriously and the other teams had problems with the two-tier regulations, but never with the budget cap itself.

  4. Patrickl said on 15th June 2009, 19:52

    Honda/Brawn;

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/64483

    December 27th 2007

    So far what we have been successfully doing is moving money from one area of the team to another. Money is certainly moved from engines to aerodynamics, because that is the next best area of performance advantage.

    “So rather than chasing our tails, we think we should be considering an overall budget cap. Although it will be difficult to monitor, we think it can be achieved.”

    “The concept of a budget cap a couple of years ago was thought to be fairly ludicrous. But if you look at the weaknesses of the counter-arguments and alternative solutions, you wonder whether budget-capping isn’t the one you ought to find a solution for. It gives everyone the opportunity they want to try and achieve the objective.”

    Button backs F1 budget cap plan

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8028092.stm

  5. Patrickl said on 15th June 2009, 20:05

    So, only two teams seem to have problems with the budget cap. Toyota and Ferrari.

    Only two teams oppose budget caps – Head
    http://www.f1complete.com/content/view/12833/900/

    Head believes last Friday’s FOTA meeting in London was a missed opportunity.

    “Max came to us to discuss what the (budget) limit should be, then came the news about the Ferrari injunction and he cancelled the meeting.

    “Now that Ferrari hast lost in court, he will no longer be so lenient; I can’t imagine he will stray far from the 40 million (pounds sterling) now.”

    I have no idea what Toyota’s problem with the budget cap is, but they probably need their huge budget to even be able to maintain their mid level position. One can only imagine how much they would suck if they weren’t allowed to outspend everybody.

    Ferrari’s problem seems to be the fact that they worry that the budget cap might be cheated upon. They don’t have a problem with the budget cap idea itself, nor with their sensitive records. Just that they want it policed properly.

    But as Ross Brawn says, how can you police CFD use? Or wind tunnel use? Or whatever cost cutting measures were introduced.

    More importantly, the cost cutting measures introduced have not substantially reduced the budgets at all. They cut it by a few million, but the teams simply spend the money on their aero instead of the engines.

    I guess another issue is the height of the budget cap. apparently they went from 175 million euro for 2009 to 45 million euro. That’s a bit of a steep drop. 175 million is obviously ridiculously high and 45 million seems a tad low. Some negotiations should have been able to get to a middle ground.

    Of course Renault now sees their opportunity to pick a fight with Ecclestone. Why not ask for more money when you are making demands already?

    On the whole I feel the pig headedness of Ferrari and Mosley have created this stalemate where neither wants to give in.

    Seeing how the other teams don’t have a problem with the budget cap (obviously Ross Brawn was actually the one to ask for the budget cap in 2007) I’d say Toyota should simply leave F1 and Ferrari needs to be pursuaded by the other teams to use common sense.

  6. steve said on 15th June 2009, 20:12

    Yeah an you picture it. Its Breakaway Grand Prix on Sky Sports, supported by Formula Premier (remember that?, Masters Grand Prix and A1 grand prix wid der funny lookin cars…. or maybe DTM what happened to that?) It wont matter because the billions spent will mean every car looks the same and they go rund and round and round – with James Allen screaming like a demented child.

    We can have adverts for cars we don’t want to buy, Alonso sulking…..meanwhile the BBC shows F1 with some balls out racing from hungry teams.

    It was Le Mans this weekend did anyone who isn’t an insane fan like us watch?

  7. steve said on 15th June 2009, 20:16

    And an you imagine anyone actually getting to look at Ferraris financial dealings….

  8. VXR said on 15th June 2009, 20:27

    It’s weird how the abbrevition ‘FOTA’ seems to perfectly fit with the two teams who are ‘really’ up against the FIA. ‘F’errari and Toy’OTA’.

  9. Oliver said on 15th June 2009, 20:29

    I will support those who are spending time, effort and good sums of money over the years to keep me entertained. The teams make the sacrifices, they put up the show. If they don’t succeed they get nothing in return. They are the ones who have to think about raising the money, designing the cars, employing the right engineers and team personnel. They spend sleepless nights trying to extract the last ounce of performance from their investments. Minardi toiled for many years but never tasted the sweetness of success, but Bernie is still rich for his effort. Honda invested hundreds of millions but didn’t really succeed, even at that, they left a team fully financed for the season not needing a sponsor, yet Mosley is trying to claim the limelight.
    I have not seen any sport that makes the referee the main attraction. No one goes to watch football because of the officiating. F1 should be no different.

    I will always put all my support behind the people who make it happen. Who risk everything for success. Those who nurture great engineers and build wonderful machines. This is where they strike gold, their reward should not be a penny.

  10. We fans have no power in any of this, but it’s good to have the chance to have our say – thanks for that. So, over 2000 votes and FOTA’s lead is almost embarrassingly big. It’s clear where fans’ loyalties lie.

    I think that the way the FIA has behaved in all of this has been appalling – it’s been draconian, dictatorial and divisive.

    FOTA have come up with constructive proposals and a plan to get f1 from where it is now to pretty much where Mosley wants it to be but this isn’t good enough for him.

    If he throws last year’s champions and the team that looks like it’s going to win this year out, then that would seem to be an act of commercial stupidity – probably the most stupid thing done since Gerald Ratner said his products were rubbish and wouldn’t outlast an M and S prawn sandwich.

    I think FOTA deserve a huge pat on the back for holding it together for this long. If Mosley gets his way, F1 could be reduced to a couple of also rans and 11 new teams – which would effectively be the public execution of the sport.

    • VXR said on 16th June 2009, 0:39

      We fans have no power in any of this, but it’s good to have the chance to have our say – thanks for that. So, over 2000 votes and FOTA’s lead is almost embarrassingly big. It’s clear where fans’ loyalties lie.

      I think that it was mostly a vote against Max Mosley.

      FOTA have come up with constructive proposals and a plan to get f1 from where it is now to pretty much where Mosley wants it to be but this isn’t good enough for him.

      Actually,they fall a long way short of where anyone who wants to see at least ten teams in F1 would expect them to be.

      • Oliver said on 16th June 2009, 1:58

        The ten teams have already committed themselves to race next season and onwards if the present rules are maintained.
        It costs the teams a lot of money every time the rules are changed. Its easy for you to support the FIA because you are not the one managing the present teams, and seeing all your investments being destroyed overnight.
        You don’t want to lose your entertainment, yet you fail to think of the well being of the entertainer.

        • VXR said on 16th June 2009, 9:05

          The ten teams have already committed themselves to race next season and onwards if the present rules are maintained.

          I wouldn’t believe that for one minute.Manufacturers leave when they want to leave and not for any other reason.The reason that Honda left was because of costs.

          It costs the teams a lot of money every time the rules are changed.

          They seem to be able to spend the same amount even when they’re not changed! It’s just that out of their 500,000,000 they may have to spend a bit less on aero work and a bit more on new technology.

          Its easy for you to support the FIA because you are not the one managing the present teams, and seeing all your investments being destroyed overnight.

          I voted ‘neither’,and if teams like Toyota want to plough 3 billion into F1 then that’s up to them.But it’s no wonder that they feel the need to ‘take control’.

          You don’t want to lose your entertainment, yet you fail to think of the well being of the entertainer.

          Ah,the poor entertainer,which,if you happen to be a manufacturer,will have the largest stage given to you on which to advertise your products.All they have to do is turn up with two cars and everything else is paid for,and still they want more and feel the need to spend it.

  11. Aaron said on 17th June 2009, 3:44

    to cut costs maybe homologate the cars, and aero packages

    Submit your low, mid and high aero packages at the start of the season. That is now what you will use thru out the season. You do this at the end of pre-season testing and before you roll out onto the track in Melbourne.

    Have a soft, med, hard, inter, wets. Use what ever you want.

    Open up in season testing to allow rookie drivers to do testing for a limited amount of days or km.

  12. scunnyman said on 18th June 2009, 4:44

    From reading various posts and articles regarding the FOTA vs FIA it has become quite clear that the fundamental running of motorsport in general has to change to stop everything from running itself into the ground. I am not just talking F1 either, i’m sure most motorsport series are in need of improvement.
    What i see is the need for a body to be set up (totally independant of the FIA, with no ties at all), to be used to introduce and run the regulations of each motorsport series. The teams should not really have any part of the regulations, nor should the FIA.
    The teams should be there to just to race period.
    And the FIA should only be there to referee and make sure the teams and drivers are running to the series regulations set out by the above mention body. And this needs to be seen to be done correctly and above board, totally transparent.
    People need to know that the sport is run fairly, and refereed fairly.
    Three sides of the infernal triangle should not get involved with each other.

    The only sticking block to this is the CVC and Bernie and Max.

    With these 3 entities overseeing motorsport then nothing good will ever work properly.

    • scunnyman said on 18th June 2009, 4:57

      I also meant to say that in football/soccer you would never get the referees getting involved in running the sport and the rules. They just REF ER EE don’t they?

  13. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th June 2009, 10:22

    Ferrari have responded to the results of this poll!

    The Formula 1 fans’ noise on the internet continues in favour of Ferrari and FOTA [...] British website http://www.F1fanatic.co.uk published the results of a survey where 83% of the fans agree with the FOTA.

    http://www.ferrari.com/English/News/Pages/090617_Fans_on_the_internet_are_with_FOTA.aspx

    • scunnyman said on 18th June 2009, 14:09

      You must be so proud Keith.

      To have such an International Body such as Ferrari quoting your lil’ ol’ website.

      Keep up the good work.

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