Ferrari confirms departure from FOTA

2011 F1 season

Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Shanghai, 2011

Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Shanghai, 2011

Ferrari has confirmed it has left the Formula 1 Teams’ Association.

With Red Bull also rumoured to be leaving and HRT having departed in January, it potentially leaves the teams’ organisation representing just nine of the 12 outfits in F1.

Ferrari said “FOTA?s drive has run its course”. It claimed it would continue to try to make the Resource Restriction Agreement “more effective and efficient” but added: “We must return to a situation where Formula 1 is really a test bed for advanced technological research, the results of which can be transferred to Granturismo cars.”

Ferrari issued the following statement: “Ferrari has informed FOTA President Martin Whitmarsh that it is leaving the organisation made up of the teams competing in the Formula 1 World Championship.

“It was a difficult decision and a great deal of thought went into it. It was taken reluctantly after analysing the current situation and the stalemate when it came to debate on some issues that were at the core of why the association was formed, indeed with Ferrari and Luca di Montezemolo as the main instigator and promoter of ideas. It?s not by chance that the President of the Maranello company held that same position and job title within FOTA up to the end of 2009.

“Some of the major achievements of the association during these years, also worked out in conjunction with the FIA, centred around cost reduction, which was of significant benefit to everyone, the big teams and the small ones.

“Ferrari was on the front line in this area, even before the birth of FOTA and it intends to continue down this route to ensure the sustainability of the sport in the long term. Now however, it is necessary to find some new impetus to move it along because FOTA?s drive has run its course, despite the excellent work of current President, Martin Whitmarsh in trying to reach agreement between the various positions for the common good.

“Ferrari will continue to work with the other teams to make the current RRA, Resource Restriction Agreement, aimed at controlling costs, more effective and efficient, modifying it to make it more stringent in key areas such as aerodynamics, to rebalance some aspects such as testing and to expand it to areas currently not covered such as engines.

“Formula 1, like the rest of the world in fact, is currently going through a delicate period. Ferrari wants to work with all parties for the future of a sport that expresses the highest level of motor sport technology.

“We must return to a situation where Formula 1 is really a test bed for advanced technological research, the results of which can be transferred to Granturismo cars. In addition, we must not forget that this sport must become more user friendly and more accessible to the general public and furthermore, it cannot be the only professional sport where it is practically impossible to do any training: the number of days of testing must be increased so that the drivers, especially the young ones who lack experience and the teams, can be adequately prepared, as well as providing more opportunities for them to come into contact with spectators and sponsors.”

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147 comments on Ferrari confirms departure from FOTA

  1. d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 2nd December 2011, 16:39

    Guys and gals here is the answer:

    “$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$”

    Obviously Ferrari and Red Bull want to overspend the current RRA and other teams dont agree with this, so they have pulled a Cartman from Southpark “Screw you guys, I’m going home.”

    • Dan Brown (@danbrown180) said on 2nd December 2011, 16:53

      But they say they’re committed to the RRA. The press release specifically states this is about testing. I think the rules on in season testing do need to be relaxed a bit, i mean when do the test and reserve drivers actually get a chance to test the cars? Why not give over the summer ‘break’ to another young drivers test at least?

      • d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 2nd December 2011, 17:04

        Preaching to the choir here. I want testing back 100%, I want live streams and timing data from testing from teams as a quasi-publicized thing. OR testing events tacked onto a GP weekend. Sure Ferrari was dominant during the unlimited testing days, but there were alot of other factors which contributed to their success.

      • Right, they don’t want to spend more money—just use their own private tracks to test at all times. What, no one else has private test tracks? And no one else can build one because of the RRA or fund expensive winter trips to sunny test locales? What a terrible misfortune for eveyone who is not Ferrari. It’s a typically cynical ploy. It looks like they will get away with it. It’s bad enough they get a lion’s share of the sport’s earnings just for being their awesome selves, now they want to pick off of other peoples plates as well.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 2nd December 2011, 17:14

      @d3v0 Thank you for giving me a chance to post this video:

      …so they have pulled a Cartman from Southpark “Screw you guys, I’m going home.”

      But jokes apart, RBR is still saying that they want to reach and agreement on the RRA subject… but looking back on the year I think the first signs that RBR wasn´t happy with the FOTA was from this interview:

      Q: Bernie, we’ve seen a lot of changes going on in the teams’ association. What do you think about that ‘club’ of which Red Bull is a member?
      BE: I try not to think of them.
      CH: I also don’t spend too much time thinking in that direction.

      Q: But then why does it exist?
      BE: It is an unnecessary association of people who should put their sole emphasis on getting competitive cars on the grid. It’s just more of what they don’t have to think of. I look after that so there are enough financial resources.

  2. Dave_F1 said on 2nd December 2011, 17:20

    I predicted this when FOTA was 1st formed.

    Its like CART, All the teams want different things & they usually struggle to agree on these things which ultimately makes it almost impossible for them to actually co-exist as one cohesive unit.

    Its also why the teams actually running the series would be such a bad idea, CART showed us that doesn’t work & this is just another example.

  3. JPedroCQF1 (@joao-pedro-cq) said on 2nd December 2011, 17:23

    I was going to write something about this move from Ferrari and Red Bull, but I won’t. The only thing that I have to say is that this is not going to end up well… and F1 will suffer from this.

  4. Sounds to me like Red Bull/Ferrari have both positioned themselves nicely for bigger share of the pot. Disgraceful.

  5. OOliver said on 2nd December 2011, 17:38

    At leasst, Withmarsh can now focus on getting Mclaren to perform if FOTA dies.

  6. John H (@john-h) said on 2nd December 2011, 18:25

    Ah the two teams I dislike the most leaving. Good riddance.

  7. PJA (@pja) said on 2nd December 2011, 18:38

    So that is the death of FOTA then, not having HRT as a member is one thing but not having Ferrari or Red Bull is quite another.

    This will be good news for Ecclestone, he always said it wouldn’t last and he was right.

    The teams may be able to come together and work as one for a short period of time but inevitably when that threat passes disagreements become too much and they go their separate ways again.

  8. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 2nd December 2011, 18:53

    Maybe they play à game: breakawaygame. In this case to gét what they want from FOTA and also to lure Bernie into thinking he’s won.

  9. AlonsoWDC (@alonsowdc) said on 2nd December 2011, 19:09

    I had forgotten that HRT withdrew from FOTA earlier this year.

    What was their reasoning?

  10. matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd December 2011, 19:28

    Idiots. It’s sensible to have a union or collaboration of some sort in any field, especially one as commercial as F1 where money drives decisions rather than common sense or practicality. A unity of teams helped prevent ridiculous regulations coming into F1 during 2009, and I’m sure there will be a time when the teams need to be together again. Not having the common ground of FOTA will also make the teams more bitter towards one another- see the Ferrari, McLaren spat of previous years, which seems to have cooled considerably in recent years.

  11. both teams know that to win they will need to spend more……FOTA must be causing headaches for RB and Ferrari to spend (putting more restrictions by rules/checks), Ferrari visibly disappointed since 2-3 years and RB in news for flouting existing RRA limits.

    hence they want out of this. statements from both teams on commitment to RRA is all BS.

  12. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 2nd December 2011, 20:35

    We must return to a situation where Formula 1 is really a test bed for advanced technological research, the results of which can be transferred to Granturismo cars.

    Then enter/start a series for Granturismo cars and use that for a test bed then.

    F1 should only ever be about one thing: F1. What that is will always be debated (purity v entertainment), but it certainly shouldn’t be for gizmos for Ferrari to stick in the cars they sell for profit. If there’s compatibility, great, if not, oh well.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 2nd December 2011, 20:46

      @icthyes Touring cars is exactly what all the teams want to push at the moment. Clearly now is a great time to invest into the unknown.

      Clearly, they’re a bit deluded and yet again have reason to believe they ARE Formula 1.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 2nd December 2011, 21:02

      They want F1 to be a test bed so they can transfer technology to a Playstation game?

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd December 2011, 21:53

      We must return to a situation where Formula 1 is really a test bed for advanced technological research

      F1 was never meant to be this anyway. If technology trickles down to general use, great. If not, it doesn’t matter. I understand that manufacturers want ‘road-relevance,’ but the reasons for them being involved in the good old days was the glory of winning and brand awareness. Yes it makes sense that inevitably there will be technologies they can develop and then put into road cars, but the rules shouldn’t really have to accommodate this, and certainly shouldn’t have to forcibly cater for it.

  13. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 2nd December 2011, 20:40

    Pretty shocked by this. I get Ferrari’s angle but not RBR’s. I really doubt it’s just down to money for RBR. They clearly have the brains.

  14. maxthecat said on 2nd December 2011, 21:40

    This is simply about teams not sticking to the Resource restriction Agreement and using creative ways to spend more money. It’s posturing on their and Red Bulls part, expect to see harmony restored by March.

  15. Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 2nd December 2011, 22:27

    modifying it to make it more stringent in key areas such as aerodynamics, to rebalance some aspects such as testing and to expand it to areas currently not covered such as engines

    You mean, make the RRA much stricter in the area where Ferrari have been poor the last few seasons, increase the ability to spend in the area where Ferrari has had major success in the past, and do some limiting in an area where Mercedes has them covered, and Renault is catching.

    Yeah, I’m sure they’re thinking about the good of F1. But I forget, as far as Ferrari are concerned, they are F1, so they probably think they are thinking about the good of F1.

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