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

  2. 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?

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      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.

      1. @ Prisoner Monkeys

        And your reliable source is …?

      2. 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.

        1. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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?

    1. 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 …

      1. 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

  6. Now that FOTA is staying with FIA until 2012 where does that leave us?
    1) FOTA gets to implement their version of “glide-path” cost reduction, and Max has to leave after the current term in office.
    2) Both Max and Bernie get to claim they are the smartest guys in the room for saving the F1 series from splitting apart.
    And…..what do the fans get?
    1) Well…..apparently we do not get the exciting sounding race schedule posted by FOTA only a couple days ago.
    2) Being an American in North America, apparently we get no GP in the forseeable future.

    While I can hope for the best, it sems like everybody gets a little something except the FANS!!
    Well, Well, business as usual says Bernie, nothing to see here, keep moving please.
    Hope I’m wrong.

  7. I voted yes, but id like to qualify it by saying that it depends on who replaces Max. if its someone who thinks and behaves like him, Max finally agreeing to not seek re-election (like his said last year) wont change much.

    The other thing is, whats going to happen to Prodrive, N Technology, Lola and Epsilon Euskadi? They were widely regarded as being stronger candidates than Campos and Manor to be the new teams and then thought to be back ups in case a split did happened because it would make Max look less bad by having strong teams enter. It would be a shame to lose them because they were being used as political pawns and maybe should be allowed to compete if they are still willing



    Now its time to get rid of Bernie,the other half of the trouble.

  9. This is a huge victory to FOTA, and a stark reminder to Ecclestone of the power of the teams when they pretty much agree universally on a subject.
    For years in F1, the teams had a limited voice when it concerned conflicts with Mosley and Ecclestone. They were all too busy fighting each other to confront the powers at be ‘as one’ and to make a difference. This is the key to the much awaited demise of Max Mosley’s career, in that teams like Ferrari and McLaren, Renault and Toyota, stood as one to bring him down.
    On the circuit, they are all the fierciest of rivals, but in their hatred of Mosley, they were one team! Ecclestone, deep down, must be sighing a sigh of relief, in the knowledge that the teams can always unite against him if they see fit.
    Despite all the pomp and blathering, Ecclestone does not have a racing series without the heavy hitting teams I have just mentioned. It is true that he has done
    serious damage to traditional F1 circuits and to the core European fanbase, making billions of dollars from new arenas overseas. Yet this is all achieved on the back of the teams, especially Ferrari.
    If they go, Ecclestone’s dream would be in tatters, and the billions of dollars a year the sport generates would be too. The decision to throw Mosley to the wolves was a no brainer.
    Ecclestone, the teams, and the FIA, knew what had to be done! I am not surprised, nor am I sad. Mosley spat in the faces of far too many people, and dragged the sports name through the mud for far too long.
    It is true that after the disastrous events of 1994 that Mosley did much to help the sport to become safer, with stronger cars and safer circuits, yet in recent years the damage he has inflicted has been almost fatal.
    In an enviroment inwhich everybody is cash strapped, the introduction of KERS only wasted the money saved on the teams not testing during the racing season. Yet another hairbrained scheme that has done nothing to add to the show, and has only wasted hundreds of millions of dollars the teams can ill afford.
    Get ready to welcome in Jean Todt as the new FIA president………

  10. No-one has won, what’s more important is that no-one has lost.

    And let’s face it, FOTAs breakaway series would never have worked in the timescale. As I’ve said throughout, FOTA are no heroes, just the other side in a pointless war.

  11. Well personaly, I feel like opening a bottle of chapagne and running a naked victoy lap around the block !! F1 will never die !!

  12. Christian Briddon
    25th June 2009, 7:06

    This is an excellent day for F1.

    I have to admit I have a tinge of dissappointment that there will not be a FOTA championship as better circuits (Silverstone) lower prices etc would have been excellent. I would also love to see the FIA and Ecclestone lose so much money. :-)

    Still, I know it would have been terrible for the sport so I am pleased it has work out.

    We have got rid of Mosley, now we just need to get rid of Ecclestone. I’d say the job was 50% done.

  13. I think F1 needs to tread carefully because at the start off the season with the diffuser row it wasn’t FOTA the resolved it it was the FIA and once the ruling came down , which took a long time , the teams had to accept it so if there was a breakaway series who’s decision would have been final ?.
    where would the championship be if the diffuser was deemed illegal ?.
    Bernie is a good front man for F1 but he should loosen the purse strings to aid the teams and the fans .

    1. The diffuser row was an opportunity for the FIA to say to the teams that they are not capable of making the rules.

      1. And I thought that was an opportunity to make the FIA look bad for settling the problem so late…

        1. The diffuser row was an opportunity for the FIA to say to the teams that they are not capable of making the rules.

          They didn’t, it was declared legal before the first race… it was the teams that continued to draw it out through appeal.

          1. Oops.. wrong quote…

            That was in reply to ChrisY…

            And I thought that was an opportunity to make the FIA look bad for settling the problem so late…

            Really need an edit function here.

        2. It was the FIA that decided it couldn’t address the issue until the first race.

          1. Yep, they ‘advised’ it was thought to be legal before the series but could not actual rule it legal or illegal until it had passed scrutineering – at the first race weekend.
            Just one example of how stupid some regulations can be.

  14. I think this is the best solution. although everyone is doubting Mosley’s departure method.

    he did state last year after the scandal broke that he wont be standing for re election. he changed his mind, and i think that was the last straw for FOTA. I think Mosley put his tenure on the line for bargaining, moving FOTA’s request from empeaching him to just not wanting him to run again.. he knew these guys hate him to the end and they want him out he wanted it to exit from the best door rather than be washed out. would be interested to see who comes next… Todt? Prost? I’m for an FIA president with considerable motor sport experience. and i think Todt will do very well

    1. Its unlike Mosley to leave voluntarily, I strongly suspect, he was told in no uncertain terms, that his show had been canceled.

  15. One more thing…

    after this cataclysmic shake up, will FOTA now pressure Bernie and FIA in reducing costs on the circuits in order to be able to let more fans access at cheaper prices? or is it only about the amount of money FOTA gets from the coffers of F1?

    like i said yesterday, we the fans wont gain much from this we would of even lost a lot if they were to split….

  16. Disappointing result. In my opinion they got nothing. The only remarkable thing is they have Mosley’s word (how can you trust him?) that he won’t be there for a reelection, something that he already was planning before the FOTA BS.
    And as Max says, the successor could be even worse.
    They won’t be getting more money, and they can’t threat with another FOTA BS cos Bernie will laugh at his face. And I won’t be able to go to see F1 because I can’t afford paying 250 euros for a piece of grass to sit on.

    For me it’s the beginning of the end of F1.

  17. HounslowBusGarage
    25th June 2009, 9:02

    I think I probably agree with aa and Leaf on the previous page, in that I’m not sure anything has improved at all.
    Max had already said he was going in October, and only recently changed his mind as a bargaining position against FOTA.
    CVC via Bernie still takes an extortionate amount of money from the hosting circuits and by selling TV rights (which it needs to service the debt). Bernie will tighten his grip on host tracks and media that will pay most – he has to – so the classic European tracks and free-to-air media will be edged out.
    The FIA will appoint a new President, while Max will go to the Senate. Who will that new President be? Jean Todt?
    FOTA is clustered around Ferrari and Luca Di M will wield increasing influence over their policy.
    So, at the end of this season we could have a Ferrari-dominated set of teams, a Ferrari-centred FIA President and a commercial rights owner even more dedicated to venue control and repression of free media.
    I don’t think that’s progress.

    1. Max didn’t recently change his mind, all year he had been talking of pressure for him to seek another term, but he’d make up his mind in June. Unfortunately the pressure on him not to run was far greater than his usual scheming antics. :-)

  18. We should not forget that Mosley has not been kicked out of the FIA (even when he relinquishes the Presidency he will still be a member of the Senate),and so he still has the option of running for another term should things not go as planned between now and October.

    Also: I would imagine that there will be some seriously p****d off FOTA ‘hardliners’ around today.LOL

  19. what about the new teams :'( some where on a contract that they will join aslong as the budget cap stays in place

  20. It is good for F1 on the face of it but we will have to wait for all the details to come out to make a final decision, and it still leaves a few issues in F1 that need addressing in my view.

    Although Mosley has said he will not stand for re-election he is still in power until October and of course we don’t know who will replace him, I also wouldn’t be surprised if Mosley manages to retain some influence in the FIA even if it is just by helping his preferred candidate to replace him. I hope we get a change to the structure of F1 rule making and governance so something like this is less likely in the future.

    Mosley said the objective was to reduce budgets to early 1990s levels, as it is only an objective there will be no firm commitments to achieve this so I wonder if it was just put in to try and save face for Mosley or if they have some actual plans on how to get to those budget levels.

    I also think that if the total budget is reduced to early 1990s levels it will be too low unless they exclude some things like driver salaries and engines, as was the plan under the budget cap, as it ignores general inflation and the fact that cutting edge technology will probably cost relatively more than it did 20 years ago.

    The problems that still remain are the ones that the FIA have ignored throughout this crisis such as the rest of F1’s finances not just the teams spending, the issue of F1 abandoning traditional venues and countries like North America to go to new empty circuits. Also because of the high fees Bernie charges even though fans are often priced out due to the ticket prices circuits still make a loss.

    Of course this is down to the massive debts CVC ran up to buy the rights off Bernie and I doubt that anything will be done to address this.

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