F1 to split in two as FOTA teams announce their own world championship

2009 F1 season

Australia 2009: The beginning of the end for F1?

Australia 2009: The beginning of the end for F1?

F1 has moved a step closer to splitting in two as the eight FOTA teams have announced they are to form their own racing series.

Autosport reports that Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, BMW, Toyota, Brawn GP, Red Bull and Toro Rosso are to create their own series independent of Formula 1.

Update: FOTA press release added

This leaves next year’s Formula 1 championship with only five confirmed teams: Williams, Force India, Manor, USF1 and Campos. However the FIA is understood to have several other teams ‘in reserve’ to fill up the grid. These may include the likes of Prodrive and Epsilon Euskadi, but not Lola who withdrew their 2010 application earlier this week.

According to Autosport the teams announced:

The teams cannot continue to compromise on the fundamental values of the sport and have declined to alter their original conditional entries to the 2010 World Championship.

These teams therefore have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new Championship which reflects the values of its participants and partners. This series will have transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide, partners and other important stakeholders.

Formula 1 splitting into two is the worst possible outcome of the FIA-FOTA negotiations which have dragged on for months. If this split comes to pass it will likely deal a devastating blow not just to F1, but the wider motor racing world.

We now face the prospect of a divided world championship in 2010, with neither of the two resulting series enjoying the strength that Formula 1 has accumulated in its 60-year history. At a time of such economic turmoil, it is a desperate course of action to take.

Update: Press release from FOTA:

Since the formation of FOTA last September the teams have worked together and sought to engage the FIA and commercial rights holder, to develop and improve the sport.

Unprecedented worldwide financial turmoil has inevitably placed great challenges before the F1 community. FOTA is proud that it has achieved the most substantial measures to reduce costs in the history of our sport. In particular the manufacturer teams have provided assistance to the independent teams, a number of which would probably not be in the sport today without the FOTA initiatives.

The FOTA teams have further agreed upon a substantial voluntary cost reduction that provides a sustainable model for the future. Following these efforts all the teams have confirmed to the FIA and the commercial rights holder that they are willing to commit until the end of 2012.

The FIA and the commercial rights holder have campaigned to divide FOTA. The wishes of the majority of the teams are ignored. Furthermore, tens of millions of dollars have been withheld from many teams by the commercial rights holder, going back as far as 2006. Despite this and the uncompromising environment, FOTA has genuinely sought compromise.

It has become clear however, that the teams cannot continue to compromise on the fundamental values of the sport and have declined to alter their original conditional entries to the 2010 World Championship. These teams therefore have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new Championship which reflects the values of its participants and partners.

This series will have transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide, partners and other important stakeholders. The major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series.

Note to Eds: Statement issued by FOTA on behalf of BMW-Sauber, BrawnGP, Scuderia Ferrari, McLaren- Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Renault, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Toyota.

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

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607 comments on F1 to split in two as FOTA teams announce their own world championship

  1. Fernando said on 19th June 2009, 0:35

    I am so glad to see Brawn on that list. This is great the champ leader saying they will leave too. Awesome just awesome f*&k Bernie and Max and those FIA a-holes they can all just go and rot in hell where they belong. All the fans will follow FOTA well at least 90% of them will, F1 will be no more well at least governed by the FIA it will be no more. NF1 (New f1) will be much better without stupid regs and crazy rule changes every year. Way to say take your medal system and your budgets and shove them where the sun don’t shine.

    • Leaf said on 19th June 2009, 0:36

      well said

    • todd said on 19th June 2009, 3:18

      i highly doubt the majority will follow the new sport.

      just like any break away or dispute, people don’t react well to change and end up keep doing what they do. watching f1.

      • PinballLes said on 19th June 2009, 3:58

        I disagree, I think fans will watch whichever series has familiar names and teams, and that looks like the proposed FOTA series.

        If the FOTA series goes ahead and they stick to their objectives then in my mind it’s going to be a fairly good series as it is focused on the fans, rather than the power and wealth of two people.

      • scunnyman said on 19th June 2009, 4:45

        People should prepare themselves for a long hard road ahead if a new series is to succeed, if a new series even gets started.
        It is not going to be easy to setup. Will take a **** load of cash. A lot of cooperation from many different parties. And it may take a few years to settle down.

        I for one will proabbly watch both series (if that is at all possible) just to see who will get it right.

        I’m sure FOTA have the right will to succeed, but the FIA have everything in place already.

        I would hope that level heads prevail in FIA and they see that the protagonist is Mosley and without him in the mix they can resolve thing easily i’m sure.

      • Gman said on 19th June 2009, 5:56

        Yeah, but when the teams that currently make up F1 as we know it are racing somewher else (in nations where there are really good fanbases) don’t you think people are still going to watch those teams and races?

  2. jinthehouse said on 19th June 2009, 0:35

    Great day to be an italian speaking laywer.

  3. TommyB said on 19th June 2009, 0:40

    GPFanatic here we come

  4. phil c said on 19th June 2009, 0:49

    Well let see what happens now. The FIA will take ferrari and redbull to court, but that cannot prevent them competing in another series. Presendence has already been set, Max said f1 doesn’t need Ferrari and further to that, FIA did not force honda to stay.

    Rebull f1 will go broke then come back as redbull fota. Cant sue a company that is bankrupt.

    A good portion of F1, CVC and Bernies contracts will fall over as of COB Friday arvo, what will happen then.

    f1 cars in 2010 will be no longer. Cosworth were already struggling to build a engine up to current specs, how on earth do they propose to build enough engines for 10 teams, impossible task. Current f1 motor takes 5 days to build.

    Mclaren ECU will no longer be part of the sport. So no electronics, and the best one for me. Only manufacture teams have been developing the gearboxes seemless shift etc etc. Cosworth dont have a gear box. Were on earth are these new teams going to get a gear box from that can be as realiable.

    In all honesty though. I think this will be resolved really quickly. The FIA will have no option but give the teams what they want. Once they see the financial fall out world wide CVC and Bernie will have no option.

    • Andrew said on 19th June 2009, 1:22

      Problem is, FIA can’t give in like that. They have already agreed to their ridiculous rules on budget caps, etc. and if they go back on those, they will get sued by the other 8+ teams who are counting on the new rules…

      I think it’s going to happen, and I’m pretty excited about it actually!

    • Toby Bushby said on 19th June 2009, 1:48

      Williams make gearboxes. Why do you think BMW were competitive from scratch? In fact, Williams had the best seamless shift after the 2006 gremlins.

      I can’t see FOTA teams keeping their sponsors. Where are they going to race? How long ’til all the regs are written? What are the car specs? Where are the marshals, medico’s and all the things coming from that make a GP weekend? This is just a threat, saying “we can ruin everything for everyone too Max.” Plus, Max has already started backing down.

      • LewisC said on 19th June 2009, 2:13

        The best time to push home your advantage is when your opponent is already in retreat…

      • phil c said on 19th June 2009, 2:41

        Williams is one team. Are they going to provide a gearbox for the whole grid with less then 6 months prep time. Don’t think so. Also 06 is a long time ago. That gearbox would be below par compared to today standards.
        As for FOTA and a new series. I don’t think it will be as hard as you think actually quite easy. The current f1 grid apart from 4 cars is what your getting for a racing series. F1 is the name, but the teams are the show.
        Sponsors will go were the popular teams go. Vodafone wont advertise with Williams if there competing against no name f1 teams in a second rate series with no exposure. Bernie will be having contracts falling over as we speak. Because every contract will have strict clauses regarding the teams, exposure, etc etc.
        Race tracks are easy to come buy. Not hard to get 17 tracks world wide to host the current f1 grids apart from 4 cars for ½ if not 1/3 of what Bernie Charges. Think about it. Silverstone, Mugello, San Marino, Indy, there are several f1 style tracks world wide that Bernie ditched that would love to host a race.
        Car specs will be identical to this year. Or identical to those proposed and reject by the FIA.
        Marshalls an medico will be provided by the track as they currently are.
        Regs will be identical to current. There is nothing stopping the teams using the same rules, cars etc etc as current.
        The more i think about it the more i think this threat is real contrary to what i said earlier.

        • Leslie said on 19th June 2009, 6:03

          It’s real but I don’t think you’ve seen the last of Bernie yet.

          Xtrac will provide the gearboxes.

          Cosworth used to supply most of the teams at one time. In those days the teams used as many engines as they wanted to.

          It won’t be too hard for FOTA to get the infrastructure up and going most of it already exists and does not belong to the FIA or FOM.

          • phil c said on 19th June 2009, 6:13

            Yeah cosworth use to, but dont know. They have gone from supplying 120 engines. (3 teams with a couple of blow ups) close to 500 engines accross the entire grid.

            It takes merc 5 days to build an engine. and i dare say they would have it down pat. I dont think cosworth would have it down pat considering they have to revive an engines 3 years old.

            Not only this, I would think some teams like Prodrive (merc second team), Ntechnology,(ferrari second team) would now sign up with fota.

    • Oliver said on 19th June 2009, 10:01

      Williams can step in a supply the gearbox. Standard ECU of Mclaren can still be used as its supplied by a different company. But who cares anyway, I’ll be watching the FOTA side of the wall. By the way how many hundreds of millions did the BBC pay for rights to F1 coverage?

  5. TommyB said on 19th June 2009, 0:51

    “This series will have transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide, partners and other important stakeholders.”

    “The major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series.”

    Listening to the fans :)

    • scunnyman said on 19th June 2009, 3:04

      Well i will believe that when i see it all. If all goes badly with FIA over this latest statement then i want to see a detailed run down of how they intend to get the new series up and running and how much input they may want from us FANS.
      As Ferrari seem to be the leaders of FOTA, and they have quoted Keith’s site then maybe they will ask Keith for his and our input????

      • not your input definitively. You’ve been bashing the FOTA in every thread of this forum :)

        I’m starting to think you’re Bernie :)

  6. The sri lankan said on 19th June 2009, 0:54

    Some one please tell me this is a joke. i always thaught this idea of a seperate championship was indeed a Leverage plan. why does Max have to bve so dam stubborn? this is exactly what happened to Indyacars and champcars and back in the day that series used to be the alternative to f1 until they destoyed thmselves. i really trully pray that common sense prevails and these people stick to the normal F1 championship

  7. Hammad said on 19th June 2009, 0:54

    K, I hope they see it through though. It’s time to have a proper racing series. And I hope the court cases against Ferrari and Red Bull, the ones definitely going to happen, don’t detract from this.

  8. Johnt said on 19th June 2009, 0:56

    Damn..ass..hell…

  9. LynnD said on 19th June 2009, 0:57

    Go FOTA. I’ll watch.

  10. John H said on 19th June 2009, 0:59

    It’s looking extremely likely Button will be the last F1 World Drivers Champion.

    2007 and 2008 were two of the most entertaining seasons I have witnessed. Not capitalising on this just highlights how much the FIA and FOM have blundered IMHO.

    • scunnyman said on 19th June 2009, 5:29

      I disagree on Button.

      He’ll just be the last REAL F1 World Drivers Champion.

      If things are not sorted like grownups then from 2010 they will be lesser champions.

  11. Tony W said on 19th June 2009, 0:59

    Well I’ll be, if this doesnt bring Max, Bernie and the FIA to its knees nothing will. I will certainly follow the FOTA series if it starts, but I do believe this is the last ace in the pack and are calling the FIA’s bluff. Either way the new series would finally allow some awesome engineering and racing machines. I for one will be watching. F1 next year without the current teams will wither away and never recover. The FIA have to collapse now, but more likely Bernie will be proverbially sh****ng himself!

  12. Hopefully this also means an end to Sepang, Singapore, Shanghai, Valencia and Barcelona.

    Hopefully FOTA sees sense and includes Magny Cours, Montreal, Jerez, Portimao and A1 Ring.

    • Gman said on 19th June 2009, 1:11

      Don’t forget one or more venues in the United States as well….

      • scunnyman said on 19th June 2009, 5:35

        Agreed Gman.

        I’m sure FOTA (and don’t forget they can’t be called fota if they are not in F1) know the importance of the USA market and will try to get someone Like Tony George to help them sort a couple of venues in America. Even help the series in America too.

        • Gman said on 19th June 2009, 6:00

          Indeed, thanks for the backing. Also, a FOTA series would protect races in Britian, France, Canada, and elsewhere. We’d also see venues that have good fanbases- Mexico, Argentina- return hopefully.

          The really ironic thing is if a new series dose come to Indy, where many people think Tony George’s ego was the overwhelming factor in the IRL/Champ Car split.

    • jinthehouse said on 19th June 2009, 1:56

      The A1 Ring. Ewwwwwwww. Maybe if you travelled back in time and stole the one from the 70’s. Where in time is Caromn Santiego styles.

    • Guilherme said on 19th June 2009, 13:19

      Niel, the grandstands and pit buildings of the A1 Ring were demolished long ago. The rebuilding will be finished by the end of 2010, and Dietrich Mateschitz (the owner) has ruled out any chance of a F1 (or a FOTA-series, probably) race in the venue. It will only be used for DTM races.

  13. Max should resign now!!! said on 19th June 2009, 1:00

    I hope it’s only a bluff. Anyway if it¿s true than it’s a very very sad thing. I’ll never watch F1 again and I hate to admit that the FOTA championship or however it will be called will not be the same it will take many years to develp a mystique around it.
    F1 R.I.P.

    • TommyB said on 19th June 2009, 1:05

      True, it won’t have the history of F1 :(

      • scunnyman said on 19th June 2009, 5:43

        Duh!!!! think back to 1949. Was there a Formula One Chamionship then????
        Nope. Of course not. It took years to get a history and a mystique.

        And it does not mean that the races will not have the history.

        Just think of the INDY 500. How many different series has that been involved? if you look at the trophy for indy it will have all the winners whichever series they were in at the time.

        So look at Monaco, which may go to the FOTA run series. It wouldn’t be a F1 race anymore but the winner would still be classed along all previous winners.

        Really the point is, if F1 dies then the new series will be F1 in all but name.

        • Max should resign now!!! said on 19th June 2009, 8:13

          I’m just pointing out that this is a shame and a waste we already had 60 years of history within the sport and it’s been great so far.
          Maybe Monaco will be there in the calendar but who knows how much longer it will take for Spa, Monza, Suzuka, Interlagos and others to join? Just the name change will be confusing for may who watch the races occasionally. I’m all for FOTA and their series but I would really prefer for Mosley to resign and everything to continue as it is now (Of course with all the things FOTA is proposing).
          Now the first couple of years could be horrible not all fans are going to jump to FOTA’s series many will be confused by having fia’s F1 racing side by side and I guess not all of us are going to be able to watch the races, that will depend on how fast TV coverage grows.
          I live in Argentina and I never get to see Le Mans it’s one of the most important races of the year but T.V. stations here think it’s not worth to broadcast it. So I do have some doubts about this.
          So i hope it’s a big bluff from FOTA but if it’s not well then LONg LIVE FOTA!!!

        • Oliver said on 19th June 2009, 13:05

          Monaco have said earlier they are not interested in an F1 race without Ferrari.

  14. Good for the FOTA to make a stand and the willingness to take a risk and start something that adhere to their values instead of someone elses. I am sure the new series will have alot of hicups but I for one will be looking forward to its growth and races!

  15. Scott Joslin said on 19th June 2009, 1:06

    Urgh!!!! When will this hell end! A split will never work.

    Mosley needs de-throning – end of, then we can have a proper debate.

    As Martin Brundle puts it “Come on guys, lets take a sensible pill”

    What a way to overshadow the last Grand Prix at Silverstone. Shame!

    • John H said on 19th June 2009, 1:20

      I think this is great news for Silverstone personally.

      FOTA will almost certainly have them on the list for the new series. this effectively saves hundreds of jobs at the circuit.

      • Gman said on 19th June 2009, 6:02

        I agree, and perhaps the best part is about hundreds of jobs being saved. Max and Bernie were too big to think about that kind of stuff……

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