FIA Respond To FOTA Breakaway Plans

FIA Respond To FOTA Breakaway Plans

Following on from last night’s announcement that the eight FOTA teams are to breakaway from Formula One and set up a rival series, the FIA have now responded. In typical fashion for the governing body, they have placed the blame for the negotiations failing firmly on FOTA’s shoulders, and stated that they cannot allow Formula One to become financial contest or allow FOTA to dictate the rules.

The FIA is disappointed but not surprised by FOTA’s inability to reach a compromise in the best interests of the sport. It is clear that elements within FOTA have sought this outcome throughout the prolonged period of negotiation and have not engaged in the discussions in good faith.

The FIA cannot permit a financial arms race in the Championship nor can the FIA allow FOTA to dictate the rules of Formula One.

The deadline for unconditional entries to the 2010 FIA Formula World Championship will expire this evening.

The 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship entry list will be announced tomorrow. FIA Statement.

I’m not sure I can fully agree with the FIA on this one. Although it is known that I’m not one of the organisation’s greatest supporters, I do feel that the FIA should not be in charge of the rules. The FIA are there to ensure that safety is kept as paramount importance, both the cars and circuits the sport uses, to organise and issue relevant licenses and to raise awareness of their various campaigns and intiatives with the cooperation of the sport. But with a [relatively] unified body of those participating (FOTA), it should be that particular organisation that decides the rules.

FOTA have maintained that under their proposals for 2010, the sport would have eventually saved more money by cutting costs. It is just that FOTA believed the process should be more of a gradual decrease rather than a huge leap down to the planned £40m.

I also find the comment regarding blame quite humorous, as it would appear – to me at least – that both parties involved in this dispute were equally stubborn. FOTA did not want to sign up without conditions as it needed some leverage for a just in case scenario, and the FIA refused to budge on the rules for 2010, completely ignoring FOTA’s proposals in the process, according to the Association.

Tomorrow’s entrants list for the 2010 Formula One World Championship will undoubtedly make for interesting reading, but it certainly will not be the last draft of that particular document. The list will surely include Williams and Force India, but the former will probably jump ship if they can once another series is cemented. Williams could stay and dominate Formula One next year, but Team Owner Frank is too much of a real racer. Williams thrives on the competition. Vijay Mallya’s Force India may also jump ship, especially when you consider he has a substantial alliance with McLaren and Mercedes for technical help and engines/gearboxes etc…

Lola withdrew their Formula One entry recently and may be interested in a FOTA-organised championship, assuming they didn’t step down for any serious reason other than failure to make the initial F1 list. Prodrive may be interested as well, especially if FOTA can sell Dave Richards on the costs – the former Benetton and BAR boss is known to be very careful about where his money goes.

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6 comments

  • From what I’ve seen/read – the FIA weren’t interesting in “reaching a compromise” themselves – a compromise is pretty much what FOTA have been offering – “We can’t go to such a strict cap, so here’s our suggestion” – FIA are the one’s who’ve not been willing to negotiate.

    The next few days will be very interesting – Speaking as a more casual F1 fan – let’s just hope everyone sees sense and realises that a breakaway formula is not the answer.

    The FIA/FOTA need to remember that without an audience, the sponsors won’t hang around, without the sponsors, there’s little money, and without money, there’s no racing. Don’t alienate the audience, we’re confused enough already!

  • The FIA/FOTA need to remember that without an audience, the sponsors won’t hang around, without the sponsors, there’s little money, and without money, there’s no racing. Don’t alienate the audience, we’re confused enough already!

    I agree. But the thing is, it is my belief that the FIA have been doing just that for quite a while now. They’ve made the sport very confusing with all the changes they make to the rules and procedures. And they tried to make it insanely complicated with 2 sets of regulations for 2010. Thankfully, that idea was quickly dropped.

    The FIA have been alienating fans for years by steadfastly refusing to listen to a single word they have said. Max Mosley embarrassed the sport on a global scale when he was caught on camera and had those images plastered all over a Sunday tabloid a couple of years ago and generally speaking, they have made a mockery of governing and policing their own rules which has led to uproar from the fans and teams.

    If FOTA can somehow get Bernie onside, and assuming the BBC deal goes with Bernie, I’m all for a breakaway. Because I know it will have the majority of good drivers to begin with, and teams as well. It will be on the BBC and at the great tracks. And if FOTA can manage it properly, there is little reason why they could not kill off Formula One. As harsh as it sounds, I don’t really care what it’s called or who runs it, as long as it is run properly and it provides great racing.

    Having said all that, I’m probably considered more than a casual fan, so maybe I’m getting a bit too carried away here. I can definitely see how this looks worrying to the occasional viewer. I suspect many are reading the headlines and are now looking to see when MotoGP is next on the TV.

  • If FOTA can somehow get Bernie onside, and assuming the BBC deal goes with Bernie, I’m all for a breakaway.

    Following on from my comment on the past post about IRL / CART comparisons, I read a comment on another site that pointed out that much of the IRL / CART happened because IRL had the big race (Indy 500) and the strong leadership (Tony George) while CART had all the drivers, teams and technology. If FOTA could get a strong leader, whether that be Bernie or someone else and a few of the key races, specifically Monaco, then they could basically make F1 a secondary racing contest in no time.

    If, however, FOTA suffers from weak leadership, which would lead to team infighting, and don’t secure the key races, then it’ll be a bas scene for both FOTA and F1.

  • If FOTA could get a strong leader, whether that be Bernie or someone else and a few of the key races, specifically Monaco, then they could basically make F1 a secondary racing contest in no time.

    As far as I’m aware, Monza are free at the end of 2009 as they haven’t yet re-contracted, and FOTA would be mad not to return to Indy and Montreal. Silverstone is a no-brainer as well. So that’s 5 big names so far. I’m not sure what Spa’s situation is regarding contracts, but I would presume these circuits could host both series anyway.

  • I think a breakaway is a terrible idea under these circumstances and I can only see it damaging the sport of motor racing in the long run.

    I don’t want to get involved in the politics of it all, but that’s my opinion on the situation.

    On a somewhat lighter note, this vid made me chuckle this morning. Lewis and Heiki racing black cabs. I thought F1 drivers were always busy?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1NXwbepI88

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