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 (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.

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

  1. Xanathos said on 24th June 2009, 22:27

    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…

    • 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

  2. Antiriad said on 24th June 2009, 22:36

    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.

  3. Robert said on 24th June 2009, 22:47

    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.

  4. Ferrari1607 said on 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!!!!!!

  5. matt said on 24th June 2009, 22:59

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

    • VXR said on 25th June 2009, 0:21

      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.

      • 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

        • just me said on 25th June 2009, 8:01

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

  6. Del Boy said on 24th June 2009, 23:12

    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.

    • Sush Meerkat said on 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.

    • just me said on 25th June 2009, 8:06

      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.

      • gabal said on 25th June 2009, 10:55

        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”.

      • persempre said on 25th June 2009, 11:47

        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.

  7. Rick DeNatale said on 24th June 2009, 23:31

    Ding Dong, the witch is dead!

    I hope.

  8. theRoswellite said on 24th June 2009, 23:38

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

    Ding Dong, the witch is dead!

    ……………the wicked witch!

    • just me said on 25th June 2009, 8:28

      What r u guys talking about:

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

  9. Dylz said on 25th June 2009, 0:24

    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!

    • just me said on 25th June 2009, 8:14

      …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….

  10. Tom said on 25th June 2009, 0:41

    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.

  11. rfs said on 25th June 2009, 0:43

    I wonder how long it will be until the next f1 controversy…

  12. Damian said on 25th June 2009, 0:46

    So F1 fails to get its cost cuts, the teams stay as bloated lumps completely oblivious to the economic crisis around them and the wonderful variety of nice circuits old and new that had been mooted as potential F1.1 tracks go down the drain. And people call this a victory.

    F1 has been a mess for 15 years due to the decision making of the FIA, yet the teams sat tight. Finally, when their big fat pay checks got threatened, they rebelled. They pretended they wanted a glorious utopian new F1, but really they just wanted to maintain the status quo.

    So F1 stays at 2009 rules. Tell me exactly who is enjoying this season, apart from Button fans and those who like change at the top for the sake of change, despite the lack of any interesting races.

    The majority of people on this site say this is a good solution. So we all like the 2009 situation do we? Then why does everyone complain about how boring it is?

    I said all along this breakaway wouldn’t happen (I was comment #3 on the initial post on the breakaway, I think, saying “I believe this when I see it”.) But it it’s a big disappointment that it didn’t. But the biggest disappointment is that other fans prefer the current status quo than a return to F1 being an actual sport again.

    Does anyone know if IndyCar is good again yet?

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 25th June 2009, 8:10

      So F1 fails to get its cost cuts, the teams stay as bloated lumps completely oblivious to the economic crisis around them and the wonderful variety of nice circuits old and new that had been mooted as potential F1.1 tracks go down the drain. And people call this a victory.

      Those circuits were never going to be on the calendr. It was a fake, probably picked up by some journalist who didn’t check his source (or made it up himself) so that he could run with some new information that no-one else had.

      I’m amazed at the number of people who were stupid enough to believe it simply because it had what they wanted on it.

      • just me said on 25th June 2009, 8:20

        @ Prisoner Monkeys

        And your reliable source is …?

      • Damian said on 25th June 2009, 9:19

        Well, yes, I know that list was made up. But there was the potential for that list to be true.

        My point is that a breakaway series had the potential to be great (even though it was obviously never going to happen). As did some of the FIA’s suggestions for next year. Sticking to 2009 rules – which has been a dull year – is the worst for everyone.

        • gabal said on 25th June 2009, 11:17

          The list was poorly conceived and was merely a list of venues without contract with FOM (and some with it) and it hasn’t even passed basic fact checking as some races fell in the middle of the week!

          Fans were used as barganing chip – we have yet to see does the final deal have any of the things that were promised to the fans…

  13. Eric said on 25th June 2009, 1:02

    Thank God Max is gone now lets get rid of that $@%^ Bernie, and no Damian, Indy Car is NO GOOD, way over rated drivers and an over hyped up series.

  14. m0tion said on 25th June 2009, 1:07

    This sounds like a put up or shut up play on the manufacturers that were using events as an excuse to exit. The mfg teams and their paymasters may not exactly be at one. The most funded & spent dollar always wins issue and the inability for non manufacturer teams to compete or even get onto the grid on that basis is not resolved by what has been announced & must be resolved. That would be the basis of Mosely’s post agreement jibe. The new teams might get a year to ramp up by their sponsors but they will need results to stay in the sport and to get the money to be on the grid. The screws are especially on Brawn now to get sponsors at a sufficient level to fund a competitive on going post Honda money operation, if they can’t get one then what hope for the new teams in the medium term?

  15. ivz said on 25th June 2009, 1:16

    Is there any word on reducing downforce? Many fans have said how they noticed the racing was much closer and exciting (cars were very loose) in the first few races of the year, before all the double diffusers came along. It seems it was much easier to over take early in the year than it is now. Webber was much faster than Barrichello at Silversone, but could not pass. I’m sure every F1 fan would be happy to see much more passing on the track?

    • just me said on 25th June 2009, 8:39

      Simple idea:
      to make races more interesting, run them in 50:50 wet/dry conditions – with controlled sprinklers on parts of the track!

      Teams would have to take much more gambles with their setups, tyre choices and strategies and d there’d be much more overtaking opportunities and chances for the slower but more driveable cars. The skills of drivers would also be challenged much more!

      Everybody I know loves to watch the wet races …

      • ivz said on 25th June 2009, 9:52

        I think without a doubt most fans would say that wet races are the best to watch, am I right? I can’t remember the last time there was a boring wet race :-) lol!
        What happened to the good old days of all horsepower and no downforce? LOL

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