The FIA reacted to Toyota’s decision by claiming it could have been avoided if Max Mosley’s budget cap had been introduced.
Meanwhile Ferrari blamed “those who managed Formula 1 over the past few years” – Max Mosley & co. in other words – for driving major car manufacturers out of the sport. So who’s right?
Defeated FIA president candidate Ari Vatanen chimed in with Ferrari when he gave this interview to CNN following Toyota’s departure:
The FIA’s view is that Mosley saw it all coming and tried to stop it with his budget cap regulations.
In all probablity, neither version of events is entirely accurate. Mosley was correct when he pointed out the manufacturers’ allegiance to F1 would prove to be fickle. But that didn’t stop him cosying up to them in the first place.
Plenty of opportunities to cut costs were missed and several teams that might have been kept going were driven out of the sport. In 2005 all the teams bar Ferrari were united on the need to cut testing, but Mosley did nothing.
That reminds us how quick Ferrari have been to turn on the FIA now the two do not have compatible aims. Rather like their harsh criticism of Williams earlier this year, there’s something decidedly odd about Ferrari’s now-infamous “Agatha Christie” press release:
It could be seen as a parody of “Ten Little Indians,” the detective novel by Agatha Christie, first published in England back in 1939, but the reality is much more serious. Formula 1 continues to lose major players: in the past twelve months, Honda, BMW, Bridgestone and, only this morning, Toyota, have announced they are leaving the sport. [...]
The reality is that this gradual defection from the F1 fold has more to do with a war waged against the major car manufacturers by those who managed Formula 1 over the past few years, than the result of any economic crisis.
In Christie’s work of fiction, the guilty party was only uncovered when all the other characters died, one after the other. Do we want to wait for this to happen or do we want to pen a different ending to the book on Formula 1?
Back when Ferrari and the FIA enjoyed a more harmonious relationship, the man in charge of the Scuderia was Jean Todt. But don’t expect the two to start getting along again just because he’s now president of the FIA.
Ferrari and the FIA are still dead set against each other and more battles could lie ahead.
Who do you think is to blame for the manufacturers quitting F1? Was the economic downturn always going to drive Honda, BMW and Toyota away? Have your say in the comments.
F1 teams quitting