Speaking to Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell, FIA president Max Mosley has hinted that the FIA are not about to bow in to the conditions placed on the entries of the nine teams currently making up the Formula One Teams Association. Back in late May, the FOTA-9 submitted their entries, but demanded that the 2010 rules be based on the 2009 set, and that their entries be accepted in whole.
The FIA don’t usually give in to demands very easily though, and the eerie silence from the sport’s governing body since the entries were submitted has been deafening. It is known that the FIA want to introduce a budget cap from next year onwards, but most of the teams are unhappy about how this was introduced, and the fact that the proposed budget is huge step down from what the squads are currently spending each year. The FOTA-9 also want the Concorde Agreement agreed and signed by June 12th.
It has been suggested by many that the FOTA-9’s conditions that were sent in along with their entry forms is actually against the rules itself and therefore invalid. Therefore, while the current crop of teams (Williams aside) feel that they are doing the right thing by pressuring the FIA, it could still backfire.
Max Mosley has suggested that getting a Concorde Agreement put together in the next week is nigh-on impossible, and that the FIA lay out the rules for the Formula One championship, and if the teams want to create the rules, then may be they should set up their own series.
A Concorde Agreement which one receives so late can’t be signed by June 12.
We now have a conflict and we will see who succeeds in the end. I say to them: If you want to draw up your own rules, then you can organise your own championship. But we have the Formula 1 championship.
We draw up the rules for that. We have been doing that for 60 years and we will continue doing so. Max Mosley
Mosley’s words suggest that the FIA are not willing to back down over their proposed introduction of a budget cap, and that the nine entrance forms submitted by Ferrari, BMW, McLaren, Toyota, Renault, Brawn, Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Toro Rosso and Force India are in fact invalid. If these teams are not allowed to partake in the 2010 championship, then the series would be rocked.
Should the FIA disallow the FOTA-9, it would be expected for Brawn and Force India (and possibly McLaren) to bow in to the FIA’s rules and re-submit. There is a clause in the rules that allows teams to submit an entry after the deadline, and should this happen, it is likely they would be let in. However, whether or not there will be space for them is another matter entirely.
At the time of writing, 10 new teams have apparently submitted entry. Currently, it has been reported that USF1, Prodrive, Litespeed, Brabham, Campos, Superfund, N.Technology, Epsilon Euskadi, March and Lola have all applied for the 2010 championship. Add in Williams who broke ranks with FOTA and submitted under the proposed rules of 2010, means there are just 2 places left.
The FIA do not have to accept any entry, and need to consider the finances and organisation of each entry to assess their ability to race in Formula One for many years. Some of the new entries are likely to be disappointed and not allowed in, which would free up some places, but given that the FIA are in strong disagreement with FOTA, it seems unlikely that any critic of the FIA will be allowed in, despite how potentially damaging to the sport that may be.
Of course, come June 12th we could all be reading how the FOTA-9 are in, along with Williams and few new squads to bolster the numbers. At the current time, we simply do not know. Either way, I think next Friday is going to be very, very interesting.