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

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 (11%)

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.

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

  1. ajokay said on 24th June 2009, 20:14

    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.

    • James G said on 24th June 2009, 21:38

      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.

    • Robert said on 24th June 2009, 22:40

      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.

    • just me said on 25th June 2009, 7:17

      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).

  2. Michael said on 24th June 2009, 20:18

    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

  3. Bartholomew said on 24th June 2009, 20:31

    CVC won !!!

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

  4. Owen G said on 24th June 2009, 20:33

    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.

    • Klon said on 24th June 2009, 22:34

      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.

  5. YeaMon said on 24th June 2009, 20:34

    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.

  6. GMac said on 24th June 2009, 20:38

    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.

  7. Lenny said on 24th June 2009, 20:43

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

    • 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.

    • John H said on 25th June 2009, 8:18

      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. :)

  8. Brian said on 24th June 2009, 20:51

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

  9. persempre said on 24th June 2009, 20:57

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

  10. 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

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th June 2009, 21:56

      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.

      • Tom Watson said on 24th June 2009, 22:09

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

        • manatcna said on 24th June 2009, 22:32

          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 :)

    • Get a life Barry

  11. mp4-19b said on 24th June 2009, 21:03

    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.

  12. Hammad said on 24th June 2009, 21:05

    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 :'(

  13. Jay said on 24th June 2009, 21:29

    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.

  14. gabal said on 24th June 2009, 21:50

    There is an interesting article on grandprix.com 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.

  15. CJD said on 24th June 2009, 22:18

    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.

    • scunnyman said on 24th June 2009, 23:02

      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.

      • Martin said on 25th June 2009, 5:37

        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….

      • just me said on 25th June 2009, 7:47

        I second all you said.

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