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. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd December 2011, 23:10

    “Ferrari wants to work with all parties for the future of a sport that expresses the highest level of motor sport technology.”

    This reads suspiciously like “we have money and we want to spend it, but the other teams won’t let us”.

    I can’t see FOTA lasting much longer. Red Bull and Ferrari will not be bound by the RRA anymore, and the only way the other teams will be able to compete with that is to discontinue the RRA altogether. FOTA will have little reason to exist after that.

    Maybe Hispania were right when they said that they felt FOTA only served the interests of the top teams.

    • StefMeister said on 3rd December 2011, 1:01

      James Allen seems to believe that the current RRA is legally binding through 2017 so Non-FOTA teams still coudn’t suddenly start spending more:

      There is a lack of trust within FOTA which has spurred this decision, but it’s important to remember that the RRA is a legally binding agreement which runs to 2017, so it is not as if Ferrari and Red Bull will be able to spend £100 million a year more. Meanwhile the testing agreement also involves the FIA, so this won’t change overnight.

  2. marc512 (@) said on 3rd December 2011, 9:38

    Meh i dont care. I want all F1 races to be on free tv.

  3. What has bernie offered them under the tabel?

  4. Mclaren 1-2 said on 3rd December 2011, 11:59

    perhaps ferrari aren’t happy with the re-introduction of team orders which knocked alonso from 3rd to 4th in the driver championship in Brazil

    how fitting that the team who’s cheeting in 2010 that led to this rediculous re-introduction in the first place is the only team to suffer from it.

    personally I think this is no more than the typical posturing we have come to expect from ferrari, I pitty because I really thought they had grown up this year, especially after their bizar decision post silverstone to allow EBD’s

    what I don’t understand is how exacty do ferrari want to limit aero in F1? perhaps run homogonised bodywork built by just 1 supplier (Mclaren applied technologies)

    still it really comes as no surprise I guess…after all, what should you expect from people from a country that changes its president like others change their socks

    what suprises me is RBR, what a strange statement, what on earth is their stance all about?

  5. carlos said on 3rd December 2011, 14:25

    F1 is accessible to the masses…masses of very rich people with net worth measured in hundred of millions of dollars. To get an autograph in this sport the kid must have an inheritance lined up. The drivers, by now, believe they are the prima donnas.
    Ferrari is right to say F1 should be test bed for granturismo cars.
    Where does the technology from a Red Bull goes.Nowhere.They sell sugary drinks.

  6. Badger74 (@badger74) said on 3rd December 2011, 14:48

    I feel that two reasons are at play for this Ferrari decision:

    1) Ferrari feel they can get competitive advantage in engine dev, testing with their own track, and generally with bigger spending. Equally they want to reduce aero as they don’t feel that’s a strength

    2) Ferrari have seen their road car business come under increasing pressure from McLaren and expect that to get worse, and have probably been surprised by how storng the 12C is compared to the 458. As a result they want F1 to become a more effective conveyor belt of technology for that side of the business

    As for Red Bull, I guess they were overspending and didn’t want closer scrutiny.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd December 2011, 15:24

      Ferrari have seen their road car business come under increasing pressure from McLaren

      McLaren have barely even begun selling the MP4-12C yet, I think it’s much too early to talk of Ferrari coming under pressure from them in this respect.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 4th December 2011, 0:06

        totally agree with you Keith but i think the main reason why should people think that ferrari have seen their road car come under pressure from mclaren is that Top Gear Episode that suggest that the Mclaren MP4-12C (which was developed in top gear test track)is a better car than the ferrari 458
        i have watched the opposite of that in Fifth Gear

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 4th December 2011, 0:09

      on what pressure are you are talking about when 2010 was the most profitable year of ferrari’s history

      do not compare the incomparable

  7. kenneth Ntulume said on 4th December 2011, 10:58

    Decisions like these, more often have to made by businesses in protection of there advantage or edge, Ferrari haven’t taken lightly how they have been out competed these past seasons, to be superior, dominating and winning races fairly or not in f1 is key to the ferrari brand equity. Ferrari parting ways with FOTA is one of the many moves they are making to get the ability to gain an advantage again to dominate f1, if Ferrari get out raced in F1 in the coming seasons, i can assure u they will leave f1. If F1 is not showcasing the Ferrari brand superiority, they will duck from it.

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