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. I think this may ultimately precipitate other big changes.
    Mind you, never trust a Moseley as my mother should have said, especially when they’re making “peace in our time” statements :o)
    The sun will soon be setting on the Bernie era I reckon. Shame in one way, he is funny.

  2. couldn’t silverstone try to host the ‘English Grand Prix’ and both tracks will be happy?

    1. Or even better: the San Marino model. Maybe the Jersey Grand Prix. Isle of Man wouldn’t work because there’s already a bike race there that is actually held on the island itself.

    2. Just a thought, but why can’t every track on the calendar straddle two countries?

      That way up to 40 countries could be included in the world championship. :)

  3. Just rotate between Donington and Silverstone and be done with it already!
    The only thing that matters now is getting Bernie outta the sport!!!

  4. FOTA are meeting with the press tomorrow to give details of their proposals so more should become clear then.

  5. Keith,
    I can’t tell you how glad I am that you did this pole.
    There are two things I’d appreciate from you though.
    The first is that you run the second part of my proposed pole regarding whether we think the fans have benefitted from the decision today. The reason for my thinking this is important, is that I personally feel I’ve been played, since I’ve seen no comment regarding the fans interest in anything I’ve been able to find on the net today. As much as Ilove Formula 1, I feel like Formula 1 cares little for the fans unless it’s just to get something they want for themselves. And in the end, the fans pay for it allbut have no influence in how it operates year to year at all.
    Secondly, would it be impossible for your comments section to add spellcheck, even a British version might do.
    Thanks. Barry

    1. You’re welcome Barry. I just did one poll because I think it’s always better to keep these things simple!

      I don’t think I’ll add a spellchecker because they’re increasingly integrated into browsers these days, and the more stuff I add to the website the slower it runs. I don’t know what browser you prefer, but I use Firefox which has a spellchecker built-in.

      1. Safari, the web browser from apple also has a spell check, and it will run on windows or mac.

        1. Perhaps it’s my Firefox, but I’m getting a red underline on misspelled words, and a right click on the word gives you options.

          Sounds like a spell checker to me :)

          1. Oh, I wish I’d read your post properly Keith

    2. Get a life Barry

  6. The fascist regime had to end at some point in time. now that it has, we can really look ahead into the future with great hope. this is the best thing that could have happened to formula one. i know for a fact that max mosley is leaving halfheartedly. but things can change, you never know until the next new president is elected. hope max keeps up his word, i strongly suspect he’ll not.

    quote from the bbc article

    “it is not the first time Mosley has promised to stand down as FIA president – in June 2004, he announced he would stand down from his position in October of that year, only to rescind his decision a month later and secure re-election.”

    so you never know.

    i think we ought to wait until its really “OFFICIAL”, that mosley will not be contesting the election. who knows, max might threaten his opponents or even bribe them to not contest the election & again get re-elected. He’s after all done that in the past, so there is no reason why he’ll not do it again. i hope he sticks to his word & steps down with whatever little remaining dignity he’s got. If there’s one person i’ll not trust, it’ll have to be MAX OSWALD MOSLEY.

  7. Since when has Mosley been a man of his word? What’s to stop him from running again? All we have is a verbal agreement. And I think this is terrible. Formula 1 is just a shadow of its former self, and FOTA’s new series seemed to be the thing that would fix that. Now with that gone, we’re still stuck with pathetic, boring circuits like Sepang, Shanghai, Sakhir, Turkey, Valencia, Barcelona, Hungaroring (except this has had some nice races), Singapore. At the expense of places like Montreal! Ergh, why why why. We were all getting so excited about FOTA’s series :'(

    1. If I were FOTA I would have asked for some kind of a guarantee…

  8. I can’t help but be skeptical; Yes, this is a great day for Formula 1, but this isn’t the first time Max has said he will step down. It’s a long time until October.

  9. There is an interesting article on that has some unofficial information about the deal:

    There are still other problems that need to be solved, not least the future commercial deal after 2012. We hear that there was some talk about this in the settlement that was agreed and it seems that Ecclestone has made some concessions with more income for the teams, but it remains to be seen how this will turn out in the end.

    There is believed to be some compromise for the new teams with the Cosworth engine users being allowed 20,000rpm for one year, although this is yet to be confirmed.

    There are many rumours suggesting that the next president of the FIA will be Jean Todt, who was Max Mosley’s chosen successor. This is really down to the FIA clubs to decide but there is no doubt that many of the teams are opposed to the idea.

    It is anticipated that FOTA will remain together in the years ahead and will continue to work towards creating a better sport. It is also expected that Williams, Force India and the three new teams will be given the opportunity to become part of the organisation once again.

  10. Keith
    The teams must stay together. Clearly Mosley’s dreams of glory were punctured by CVC lawyers and he must retire defeated.

    Bernie will now believe that skills won this result was his doing but there must be a huge black mark against him in the CVC books for putting the money stupidly at risk.

    It was always a case of when does the money speak out.

    1. Yes Bernie Ecclestone will not just be thinking his skills won the day, But he’ll be boasting about it for years.
      It doesn’t help when the lies of Eddie Jordan asked Bernie to sort it.
      I eargerly await news of exactly what is going to happen in the next few weeks , months and years.
      And yes, i feel we the fans have been left out in the cold on this.
      I believe we all wanted a more open transpararent fairer run Formula One with lower ticket prices, lower circuit charges so they could possibly make a profit, a chance to get America and Canada back on the calendar. A fairer share of formula one’s profits to the teams.
      Regulations that promote better racing, and a simpler easier to understand run penalty system which is consistent.

      I believe the breakaway may have given us most of these points. But i have my doubts we’ll even get close with F1 even without Mosley.
      Is FOTA and FIA going to listen to the wishes of the fans now.

      1. Yes this is a sad day. We could have rid ourselves of 2 of the worst figures in F1, and started a new series that cared about the tracks and the fans.
        What we got was the status quo with Max lying to us again, and Bernie brokering the lie. Luca, I have lost all faith in you and your words.
        I guess F1 will be a little less important to me as time goes on….

      2. I second all you said.

  11. There will be no Budget cap implemented in the rules, but FOTA will reduce costs significantly…to the level of the early nineties, when the budgets of the top teams were – incidentally – around 30 to 50 million pounds…I simply have to admire Max Mosley for this…without this whole Budget cap idea, FOTA would propably never have thought about reducing the costs that much. If it stays that way, the manufacturers might see that they can’t build a competitive car with that and they might leave over it, making room for new, independent teams to which they can supply their engines. And in the long term, one has to wonder who really has won this war…

    1. Max may end up getting what he wanted, but he went about it in the wrong way. The end does not justify the means.

      Anyway, if the teams spend 30-50 million back in the nineties, you have to adjust for inflation, so 30-50m then would be more like 50-70m now I would think

  12. Well then, the WMSC did see sense and ditch Mosley. A victory for common sense.

    Lets hope next that Bernie accepts that after 2012 the game is up and agrees to take much less money and give more to the teams.

    In the meantime FOTA and the FIA should both put pressure on him to reinstate the tracks he has bled dry like Montreal, Indianapolis, Hockenheim, Magny Cours and Silverstone, not to mention the FIA should adopt FOTA’s proposed point’s system.

  13. During the News of the World fiasco, Max said that he was not going to run for re-election this October. This is just him keeping his promise from earlier.

    As to the result, I think this is good for F1. Not the best that could have happened for it, but far superior to there being two rival series. I think what is going to be crucial in all of this is what shape the new Concorde Agreement takes. The way I understand the old one, rules were agreed on by a committee made up of the FIA, FOM, and representative of the teams with input from track owners. If we can return to that style of government, I think we can have at least a few years without rules squabbles that use the old strategy of mutually assured destruction.

  14. Ferrari1607
    24th June 2009, 22:51

    Well mosley is leaving, score 1 for FOTA :)
    but bernie and CVC are still here :(
    i was looking foreward the FOTA series (there were 3 races in north America) 8(
    but no budget cap :)
    2009 rules next year :)

    20,000 rpm cosworth engines??? (good for USF1…. or USGPE, whatever)

    Ron Dennis for FIA President!!!!!!

    1. Ferrari1607
      25th June 2009, 0:18

      Or no FIA at all
      just FOTA

    2. Ron for FIA President??!

      No thanks.

    3. Ron Dennis for FIA President!!!!!!

      And Flavio Briatore for FOM/CVC boss ….

      1. At least it would bring back F1 to Canada and the U.S. ;)

  15. What was a typical early 1990’s budget? It isn’t conveniently £40m is it?

    1. What was a typical early 1990’s budget? It isn’t conveniently £40m is it?

      They were around that figure,yes.

      Everyone seems to have got what they wanted.Mosley got his new teams and budget cap (in all but name).The teams have stability and (hopefully) better governance.

      Everyones a winner,unless of course you really did have your heart set on a ‘breakaway’ series.

      1. Just remember that 40m pounds back then does not equate to 40m now. You have to factor in inflation, rises in labour costs and the cost of the ever changing technological resources required

        1. With 40m 1990 dollars you can build 1990-tech cars in 1990.
          Can’t build 2010-tech cars with 40m 2010 dollars in 2010 …

  16. Hi Keith
    Thanks for the links to the pre 29th April rule links. I guess now the split row has been settled we will all look forward to next years regulations.

    This may be a little off topic however I have some questions about KERS in the future.

    The teams have agreed to scrape KERS on the basis it costs too much, when what they really mean is the cost benefit analysis doesn’t add up. However the rules pre 29th April as set out by SWG, OWG and TWG allow KERS to generate 160bhp during 2011 and 320bhp during 2013 harvested from both axles. If you run these numbers your racing car will be about 3 – 4 seconds per lap faster and suddenly the cost or the weight won’t matter.

    1. Sush Meerkat
      24th June 2009, 23:19

      If you run these numbers your racing car will be about 3 – 4 seconds per lap faster and suddenly the cost or the weight won’t matter.

      then the tyres will blow.

      In order to have KERS with that power you need to have a tyre war.

      1. Are you sure about your numbers? The time limit for use of KERS still applys, right?

    2. The rules were written when KERS was still the stated goal for the future.

      For now KERS seems to turn into a dud. But my guess is that it will come back under a different name: “Hybrids/Green Engines” in the near future.

      1. KERS is having a ”birth” issues because it is so restricted by power output and storage capacity. They are so restrictive that Williams had to cap power output of their flywheel system from day one. Next year when the cap is raised to almost double levels it will be interesting to see will the KERS technology still be such a ”dud”.

      2. KERS was optional for 2009.
        I`d guess that as FOTA agreed to get shot of it (nothing but a waste of time & incredible amounts of money) they would opt not to run it in 2010.

  17. Rick DeNatale
    24th June 2009, 23:31

    Ding Dong, the witch is dead!

    I hope.

  18. theRoswellite
    24th June 2009, 23:38

    Rick DeNatale says:
    June 24, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Ding Dong, the witch is dead!

    ……………the wicked witch!

    1. What r u guys talking about:

      the one-eyed, wrinkled, fake-blonde, little witch is still alive and kicking stronger than ever ….

  19. F1 Lives!

    What a great outcome, splitting the two up would have been a disaster, just look at the States and the Cart/IRL debacle!

    Glad to see that common sense has prevailed from both camps.

    But the best part? 13 teams to compete next year, 26 cars on the grid! Fantastic!

    1. …splitting the two up would have been a disaster,…

      How do you know that?

      F1 may live (till the next fallout) but the chance for a better and stronger series is dead!

      Long live F1!

      PS: The French revolution was a disaster, the American a success (seen from the US side).
      With revolutions you NEVER know! Indy got squashed by NASCAR, not by the breakup (IMHO).

      This FOTA rebellion could have been the seed to greater and better things for those with a vision.

      However, most people feel more comfy with the status quo. Comfy is nice, save and cosy….

  20. thank god, the codemasters game will be decent and my favourite drivers will be back in melbourne. now let’s get on with the racing.

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