No split, no budget cap – and no Max Mosley. A victory for FOTA and F1?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

The eight FOTA teams will be in F1 next year - but Max Mosley won't
The eight FOTA teams will be in F1 next year - but Max Mosley won't

I wasn’t expecting F1’s long-standing row to be resolved today any more than I had on the many other ‘deadline days’ which have come and passed with no resolution.

But the decision from the World Motor Sports Council came remarkably swiftly: next year’s F1 championship will be run to rules broadly similar to this year. Max Mosley’s effort to impose a budget cap on the teams has failed – and he has agreed not to stand for re-election in October.

“Everyone’s won” said Mosley afterwards. But is this really anything other than a victory for FOTA – and the ultimate defeat of Mosley?

Is this outcome good for F1?

  • Yes, it's good for F1 (77%)
  • No, it's bad for F1 (5%)
  • It's neither good or bad for F1 (7%)
  • I'm not sure (10%)

Total Voters: 1,927

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In the run-up to today’s meeting, Mosley reminded the WMSC:

It is for the FIA membership, and the FIA membership alone, to decide on the democratically elected leadership, not the motor industry and still less the individuals the industry employs to run its F1 teams.

Mosley is now insisting his departure was planned all along. But if that were the case, presumaly he could have ended this dispute rather sooner. He has not granted any other new concession today which could have moved the teams to abandon their plans for a rival championship.

The deal was apparently thrashed out between Mosley, Bernie Ecclestone and Luca di Montezemolo (representing FOTA) late last night. Was this the moment Mosley finally saw the writing on the wall, and chose not to remain as president of a governing body in charge of what would have been a fatally weakened F1?

Of course, it wouldn’t be Mosley without a parting shot:

As long as the teams behave themselves I will be gone. A deal is a deal and if that is not stuck to you sometimes have to reconsider things.

Or two:

Whether the person who succeeds me will be more to their liking remains to be seen.

Montezemolo added:

To us, three things were most important; that F1 stay F1 and not become F3, that there is no dictator, but that there was a choice of rules, agreed and not imposed; and that whoever had a team was consulted and had a voice. Mosley has announced that in October he will stand down, with an irrevocale decision, and that from now on he won’t get involved in F1.

This is a good day for Formula 1. A potentially disastrous split in the sport has been averted. The removal of Mosley opens the way for a more productive and less hostile co-operation between the teams and the sports’ governing body.

It is a victory for FOTA. But above all, a victory for Formula 1.

I’m going to be on Sky News discussing the developments between 7pm and 7.30pm this evening.

148 comments on “No split, no budget cap – and no Max Mosley. A victory for FOTA and F1?”

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  1. hot and cold
    24th June 2009, 18:58

    Shame, I was really looking forward to FOTA’s racing series. I am loyal to good racing, not the F1 brand name, and it seemed that a revolution was long overdue but hopefully Mosley’ ouster helps F1 become what it once was.

    1. This is bad. Max is only a third of the problem. The other two thirds are the FIA and Bernie. Bernie is still making things too expensive and restrictive, and sucking all the money out of poor circuits while destroying classics.

      1. bernie should be next, too greedy for f1 at the expense of fans

    2. I read that Mosley said he was not standing for re-election last year, and he was only going to stay if the issues could not be resolved, so I hardly think he was ‘ousted’ For F1 to return to good racing it is essential that no teams are allowed to have technical vetoes, or any other vetoes over the others, it is also essential that the money distribution becomes more transparent, everyone has a fair share. F1 will have to reduce to the costs of the early 90’s by 2012, so a budget of around 80-100mil, one or two of the best financed teams had in excess of 400mil last year, so still a huge drop. Williams are already running at these lower levels, and producing a good car to regs that appear to be agreed for a couple of years. I would say that the outcome of the negotiations is where each party were aiming for originally, in fact Fota will have to maintain their unity, something they have not been successful at in the past, because the next time a line is drawn in the sand, they may not be allowed to back out so gracefully.

    3. F1 with budget cap its become F1 nd, F1 mean 1st in tech ,U know Hi tech with no money ist 2nd tech, F1 no meaning with limitation like budget cap,,,,

  2. Of course, good to hear… but, don’t trust him, he is not a man of his word. :)

  3. I would be very interested in a pole in 2 parts should you care to run it. Part one
    1: are you pleased with the outcome of the Paris meeting
    caught in the middle:
    2: Have the fans benefitted from this outcome?
    it remains to be see:

    1. I agree… a poll on whether today’s events are good for the sport would be quite interesting.

    2. Good idea – I’ve added a poll along the lines you suggested.

      1. I’m sorry Keith, it sounds to me like you’re towing the ‘party’ line here.

        Whilst it might be good to have come to some sort of tacit agreement between the FIA and FOTA over this, so that everyone can focus on 2010, it can hardly be described as a “victory for F1”. As others have pointed out on this post, we could have had a series next year that really made a difference, with the potential for the re-instatement of some classic tracks, as well as the removal of Bernie Ecclestone. He looked genuinely worried over the British GP weekend at the prospect of the rug being pulled from under him, in terms of his ability to watch Ferrari, McLaren et al racing in whatever bland auto-drome he decided upon racing in.

        Now it would appear that we are back to square one.

      2. I voted the poll that it was good for F1. Which it was. Good for F1,yes, not necessarily for the sport or the fans, but good for F1.

        I believe other outcomes may have been better for the fans and the teams, but we shall see, I suppose.

  4. “Everyone’s won” said Mosley afterwards….

    For once I agree with him, “everyone” has won, the fans no longer have to put up with his disruptive leadership anymore. Yep, everyone is a winner.

    Mosley behaved as if he owned the sport & could rule as he saw fit, the sport NEVER belonged to him. Even Balestre, as quirky as he was, never treated the sport & fans with the contempt displayed by old Spanky.

    Ron at McLaren (love him or not) must feel some sense of vindication for being the target of Mosley’s power trips over the years.

    Oh..& Max, dont let the door hit you on the way out.

  5. I’m confused who can help. I’m trying to find the actual rules for next year. You say the rules remain the same as 2009 but the FIA had already agreed with the teams (unoffically) the following points;
    1. No in race refueling
    2. Low fuel qualifying (filled after Q3)
    3. Increased weight 620kg
    The FIA has already agreed to drop the following 2010 rules
    1. Tyre heaters
    2. KERS at the higher yield rate is optional not compulsory
    I understand the budget cap has all but gone away but what about the unrestricted Cosworth engine?

    1. According to the FIA’s press release:

      There will be no alternative series or championship and the rules for 2010 onwards will be the 2009 regulations as well as further regulations agreed prior to 29 April 2009.

      Among the items agreed on the 30 April meeting were the budget cap, ban on refuelling during races and the ban on tyre warmers.

      I suspect it means that, as the budget cap is going, so too will refuelling (boo!) and tyre warmers will remains (boo again!) But perhaps the latter two changes will be kept for cost-cutting reasons. We’ll find out when the official 2010 regulations are finally published.

      Of course, banning refuelling also meant we were to get proper qualifying back next year as well. It would be a shame to lose that too.

      1. The refuelling and tyre warmers are among the negatives that made me vote “not sure”. Added to that is that Mosley has promised to resign many times, only to renege on the deal…

        .. and this still leaves Bernie and CVC milking the teams. The little man must be gloating — he managed to play “good cop” and kept his money.

      2. I’m thrilled it looks like refuelling will stay. Tyre warmers and race fuel quali not so much.

        I sure hope they’ve made Max sign a watertight document ensuring he won’t stand for re-election. We’ve heard that before haven’t we?

        Gotta give him credit for suggesting he’ll stay on for another term (whether he meant it or not) – it gave him a bargaining chip from nothing – Now it seems not standing for re-election was a concession on his part, when it was always the plan.

        Look at him, he could do with some time off. He’s been through a lot lately, but i find it so hard to sympathise….

      3. Keith,

        I think FOTA are supporting the ban on refuelling and tyre warmers, its a good cost reduction for them, they may as well swing a deal with the FIA at a later time.

        I honestly don’t mind re-fueling, I like the strategic approach with fuel levels. If refueling is kept, then FOTA should nego proper qualifying, where the who “race fuel” scenario is removed. They should keep the current Q1, Q2, Q3 format as the final shootout is very interesting, but the fastest car should always be on pole, that will remove the “who’s heavier? debate”

        Tyre warmers is one thing I never liked. The drivers should get the required heat in to their tyres themselves, it will be a proper test for them.

        The only other downside to this is that,F1 will be racing less on the continental classic circuits and of course, the prices aren’t going to come down either. As long as Bernie is alive and kicking, I guess the sport will trudge along as he wishes.

        All in all, I’m quite relived.

    2. Interesting points there.

      The minimum weight was increased to 620kg to encourage KERS, which one can now safely say, was a failed concept. Now, what will happen to this weight ruling? Will it impose the weight to be in ratio to the driver’s weight?

      Also, Cosworth engines running with unrestricted revs would handicap the other teams, and with engine development frozen, this will cause a dispute. I hope that by the time the current economic crisis finishes, they’ll be racing V10’s again with unrestricted revs. Something environmentally friendly will go down well with everyone to aid this.

      1. cosworth’s with unrestricted revs equals…Boom

  6. I think there’s a very strong chance that Mosley’s not going anywhere, as seen from his parting comments.

    This is just prolonging the agony for me – the FOTA series would have been great because for one, Silverstone remained on the calendar, Bernie was gone, many Tilke circuits would be dropped, and ticket prices would have almost certainly been lowered due to Bernie’s power and greed being removed.

    Sorry to be a pesimist, but I just don’t feel like jumping for joy.

    1. I think many people declared the new series a second coming and a best thing ever based solely on a press release and a calendar made up in 5 minutes (several dates for races fell in the middle of the week!). As much as people got excited the new series was allways a pie in the sky and realisticly it was never more then a barganing chip for FOTA.

      1. It wouldn’t have been a useful bargaining chip had it not been a realistic prospect.
        No one wanted a break away series, but I don’t think the Mosely thought for one minute that the teams did not have the wherewithal to execute their threat successfully.

    2. I’m with you on this John H…I think it is great the series is not splitting but,I was looking forward to a new series that catered more to the fans.Of course Bernie and Max saw finally saw this wasn’t a bluff and knew they had to keep their truck loads of cash coming in.Max may sound SEMI-humble now but,just you wait….he isn’t going anywhere until he has milked every last drop he can out of F1 and take it the sport down with him just for spite.

  7. It is a good news for Formula 1 – it doesn’t matter who won – everybody would have lost has the split proceeded. I’m not so sure either what the technical rules are but I must say I’m happy to see Mosley leave – let him be remembered as a president who greatly improved safety in racing instead of being the guy who destroyed it…

    1. it doesn’t matter who won – everybody would have lost has the split proceeded.

      Hear, hear!

  8. You have to believe, stated or not, that FOTA is now the big dog of F1. Certainly not Max…and Bernie’s power is now quite a bit less than it was.

    1. I agree, and if the teams manage to held together now this big crisis is averted I hope they can continue to do so in the future as well. United teams is a great power but we’ll see will the egos get in a way…

  9. It’s good that Max is leaving and the F1 is staying together, but I was really looking forward to the break-away series. I was hoping the teams would get some technical freedom back.

  10. No Budget cap? I thought there was going to be one?

  11. But anyway its very good that the split hasn’t happened and that there has been no budget cap!

    1. There will be a budget cap, but it will be ”sliding” as FOTA requested, no exact figures are given yet though, they just stated that the goal of the cap is to get the budgets on level as they were in the early nineties…

      1. On the budget cap thing, to quote the FIA press release again:

        There will be no alternative series or championship and the rules for 2010 onwards will be the 2009 regulations as well as further regulations agreed prior to 29 April 2009.

        It was the F1 Sporting Regulations for 2010 published on 30 April 2009 that first introduced the proposed ‘budget cap’ regulations. They are highlighted in the document:$FILE/1-2010%20F1%20SPORTING%20REGULATIONS%2006-05-2009.pdf

        Therefore, I take it to mean the regulations will be those agreed prior to April 30, and therefore not including a budget cap. Other news stories describe the budget cap as being “scrapped”.

        1. I think this part of the official statement says that there will be a sliding budget cap… Or at least a budget cap in 2011…

          As part of this agreement, the teams will, within two years, reduce the costs of competing in the championship to the level of the early 1990s.

          1. The phrase used in the WMSC document was “As part of this agreement, the teams will, within two years, reduce the costs of competing in the championship to the level of the early 1990s.”, gabal.
            Cost reductions but no cap.

          2. Well, we will have to see how will the budgets be reduced. I hope it won’t just be standardisation of the parts but we will be smarter tomorow after FOTA’s press release. Untill then all we can do is speculate based on press statement that is deliberately vague.

  12. KingHamilton&co
    24th June 2009, 19:48

    although the row seems to be settled and F1 looks to be going the way it should be, i cant help but feel looking at the entry list that red bull shouldnt have 2 teams and that toro rosso are a waste of entry-red bull shouldnt be allowed 2 teams and someone should buy toro rosso out.

    1. Good point. Toro Rosso appears to be an investment rather than a race team. I reckon they’ll wait until a spot in Formula 1 becomes worth more (i.e. When there’s no more slots on the grid, and there’s many teams eager to join F1) and sell it for maximum profit.

      Maybe they learnt from last year, and this year they aim to keep Toro Rosso out of RBR’s way, and keep them off the back of the grid so it doesn’t cheapen the brand.

    2. If anyone came to Red Bull with the right money, it would be sold tomorrow.

      Toro Rosso has to become a constructor in its own right new season, no more customer cars, so I would suggest that it will be sold in the near future (i.e. next 12 months).

      If Lola or Prodrive were serious about entering F1, this is their avenue…

  13. Come on, the whole thing was just one big PR exercise to keep F1 on the front pages in a season that is to the average punter extremely tedious.

    I said the same thing about Silverstone several months ago and hey presto, as if by magic it isn’t actually in danger of being dropped.

    I don’t for one second believe any of the rubbish that F1 was on the brink etc.

    Absolute toss…

    1. But Silverstone is being dropped either next year or in 2011 depending on Donington progress.

      1. Yes but it’s gone from ‘not until hell freezes over’ to ‘of course’ should other facilities not be available…

  14. F1 Outsider
    24th June 2009, 20:05

    I think FOTA will want see something in writing guaranteeing Mosley’s departure by tomorrow before they make it official.

    I second Del Boy’s concerns…
    Will there still be refueling in 2010? I hope not. Everyone seemed to think racing was better when there wasn’t any. I for one can’t remember that far back.

    1. No, not everyone wants to see refuelling scrapped.

      Why don’t we have a poll on this?

      1. Maurice Henry
        25th June 2009, 0:27

        Hear, hear!

        F1 Outsider – I can remember that far back and a number of the races were as dull dishwater. Read Murray Walker’s comments in last month’s F1 Racing. Even he is worried that there will be a lack of strategy and excitement without refuelling. Those who want a ban had better realise that in the end some bright spark will work out how to preserve their tyres best and do races on one stop. Back then the best car was the best car whether it was on full, half or low fuel. The Turkish and British GPs are great examples of how dull some of those races were.

        1. the races are “as dull as dishwater” anyway, so without refuelling, at least it’s greener/cheaper. i remember F1 without refuelling as pretty exciting. It puts much more emphasis on driver skill. Remember Keke Rosberg?

      2. I agree manatcna. I want to keep refuelling.

        I suspect a refuelling poll on this site would produce a skewed result. Keith is a strong advocate for no refuelling (you may have noticed ;)).

        The poll question could well read “Formula 1 will be better without refuelling. But by how much?
        – A lot
        – A great deal
        – Significantly”

        Peace. :)

        1. ILoveVettel
          25th June 2009, 4:01

          LOL on Ace… But jokes apart, I agree with the theme :)

        2. No refuelling was all about cost cutting. There would be no reason to take all the equipment & the refuellers to each race.

          From FOTA`s survey:

          5. Evolution of pit stops and refuelling

          All audiences view pit stops as integral to their enjoyment of grand prix coverage; however, they rank the most important and compelling aspect of pit stops as tyre changing rather than refuelling. Race strategies were not highly ranked as a determinant of interest in Formula One.

          Implication: audiences are unlikely to diminish if refuelling is discontinued. Tyre changing is an important driver of audience interest (in pit stops) and should not be further automated.


          ▪ 17 countries surveyed
          ▪ First ever poll of Formula One devotees alongside non-Formula One devotees (ie, marginal and/or low interest fans)
          ▪ Responses were weighted according to the size of viewing market in each country (to avoid small markets skewing the results)
          ▪ Results were segmented by interest level in Formula One, demographic profiles (age and gender), country and region

          ▪ Total audience is comprised of:
          – Regular fans (25% by volume, predominantly male, cross section of ages)
          – Moderate fans (44% by volume, female and male, cross section of ages)
          – Infrequent fans (31% by volume, unlikely to watch grands prix, predominantly female, cross section of ages)

      3. Think guys:
        no refuelling = shorter races.
        IMHO they are too short as they are now!

        And we’d be deprived of priceless scenes like Massa’s pit stop in Singapore 08 :-)

        Today’s F1 cars are soo close already. Removing the fuel strategies will make them even more homogenised ==> fewer scraps and overtakings. Then racing strategies are down to the tyres only!

        Hope they drop the tyre heaters.

        Poll would be interesting! (Notice that F1fanatic and other polls were read by FOTA as well as by the FIA and had some influence in the breakaway poker :-)

  15. Gianecchini
    24th June 2009, 20:10

    This makes me confused….

    James Allen on itv-f1-com…
    ” Max Mosley will not seek re-election in October when his current term expires.

    In the meantime he has relinquished his position as the main contact man at the FIA for F1.
    Instead the FIA Senate will deal with any issues in F1.

    Mosley is a member of the Senate and, under FIA rules,
    he will remain a member in future as an ex-president.

    There is a sense here that if this deal were to fall through then
    Mosley would be on hand to take up the FIA’s side again.

    Meanwhile there will be an election for a new FIA president in due course.”

    I dont belive in MM,BE and LM…shady business…:/

    1. agreed!

  16. Now all they’ve got to do is get rid of Bernie, and then Catalunya, Hungaroring, Bahrain, China, Malaysia, Valencia, Korea, and possibly Turkey, replace them with classic tracks, and they’ll have a winner.

    1. Yeah, bring back Crystal Palace! Unfortunately, the current one probably isn’t up to F1 standard as it’s less than half a kilometre long.

    2. I find interesting that you are wanting to get rid of a track that is not even built yet. Why not India then?

      While I am not in favor of a Tilke-dominated calendar, for F1 to call itself a world championship, it needs to race on tracks all around the world. Not just in Europe with a stop in Australia or Brazil.

    3. Now all they’ve got to do is get rid of Bernie, and then Catalunya, Hungaroring, Bahrain, China, Malaysia, Valencia, Korea, and possibly Turkey, replace them with classic tracks, and they’ll have a winner

      All this could have been achieved in one sweep when the FOTA would have stayed course!

      I am very sorry that we are back to the same old SAMEOLD.

      I can’t believe that the poll shows 78% finding this outcome as “good for F1”.

      Maybe the question was posed ambiguously:
      if we’d asked: to you think this outcome is the best for an optimal pinnacle series (whatever its name would be), the poll might be looking different!

      I for one, DO NOT think this is a desireable outcome for an optimal flagship series.

      I am NOT pessimistic on the feasibilty of a breakaway series. The Indy example is NOT a precursor and proof of likely failure – the circumstances and the details of the Indy breakup were completely different. NASCAR just offered a better spectacle than any of the split Indy series at the time. NASCAR copied the showmanship of the US wrestling series and won the competition for audience fair and square! (BTW, I’m no NASCAR fan – big yawn, but the US motorsport fans dig it! – likely the same crowd that digs the US wrestling series …)

      Anyway – what a lost chance for correcting the excesses that got entrenched in F1 over the years. What a lost opportunity for building a true flagship series with governance of reason & sanity by the people concerned (teams, manufacturers, fans and sponsors).

  17. Whilst glad the war is over, I can’t help but be disappointed that FOTA have got back in bed with Bernie and CVC. One of FOTA’s most powerful arguments was that it wanted to bring the sport back to the fans but this seems to have been forgotten. Bernie and CVC are the principle reason F1 doesn’t race in the US, charges a fortune for grand prix tickets and insists on visiting empty far eastern graveyards.

    I hope FOTA have not forgotten the fans and have some interesting things to say about the long term future of formula one tomorrow

  18. Bartholomew
    24th June 2009, 20:31

    CVC won !!!

    the same b.s. next year : KERS in Saudi Arabia and North Korea

  19. If Max does go the new appointment is crucial. We don’t want a dictator like Max, but also we don’t want a puppet of the teams.

    A new leader needs to be strong, make the necessary changes to F1 but also govern and make sure the teams stick to the rules.

    This means swift and absolute decisions on technical matters, swift and absolute decisions on racing incidents and to take on board what the teams and fans want from F1 rather than what he thinks they want.

    1. And that’s exactly the reason why I see this compromise and the departure of Mosley as a bad thing.

      The pessimist and misanthropist that I am highly doubts that Mosley’s replacement won’t be a FOTA puppet.

      To be a good FIA president, this new person will have to have guts to go against the FOTA despite the breakaway threats which the manufacturers will use as a weapon now to manipulate any new FIA leader. Furthermore he or she simply has to force the started cost-cutting measures forward even if met with heavy resistance.

      As of now, I can’t think of anybody able to do that … but let’s wait and see.

  20. I’m glad Max is out. Maybe some improvements to the FiA itself can be made with this, not just F1.

    Mosley may have wanted the best for F1, but he did everything the wrong way.

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