As the snowball grows in size and pace, Renault add themselves to the four other teams that have stated they will not enter the 2010 Formula One World Championship if the current proposed rules that will result in a two-tier formula are not revised. Joining Toyota, Ferrari, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso, Renault say that the governance of the sport needs to be better balanced between all involved parties.
The budget cap plan is causing considerable unrest in Formula One at the moment and it is envisaged that all manufacturers will add their voice to the debate and threaten to quit if the rules are not amended. Teams whose companies centre around Formula One motor racing are likely to enter, those being Williams, Force India and Brawn, with possibly McLaren as well. However, the argument isn’t strictly centering around the manufacturers as Dietrich Mateschitz has stated that he will not enter his two teams either if the cap remains in its current form.
In a statement, Renault said that they are not happy with the way the capping rule has been introduced and Flavio Briatore is particularly upset as FOTA’s own proposals were largely ignored. This echoes the other four teams who have stated that they are also unhappy with the way the rule was brought in with little-to-no consultation, and Ferrari are even investigating its legality due to the fact that they have a strong involvement in the introduction of new rules.
There is frustration that FOTA’s constructive proposals, including major cost saving measures to be adopted progressively between 2009 and 2012, which were carefully constructed by FOTA members, have been completely ignored without any form of consultation by the FIA with the teams.
It should be stressed that FOTA has set the same, if not lower, financial objective as the FIA, but Renault strongly believes that this must be introduced through a different procedure agreed by all parties. Renault Statement.
Renault went on to say that the governance of the sport needs to incorporate all parties involved, including FOM and FOTA as well.
The decision of the Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA) to introduce two sets of Formula One technical regulations for the 2010 Formula One season has caused the Renault Group to reconsider its entry in next year’s FIA Formula One World Championship.
Renault also believes that it is paramount that the governance of the sport is coordinated with a spirit of consultation with all parties (FIA, FOM, FOTA) in order to achieve a better balance between the costs and the revenues. Renault is also of the firm view that all entrants in the World Championship must adhere to and operate under the same regulations. Renault Statement.
It is also my view that all the teams should operate under one set of regulations. Not only does it make policing the sport much easier, but the potential to have one set of teams performing considerably better on the track than another set would be negated under a single set of rules. As stated previously, I cannot believe for a second that the FIA will get the potential performance difference right from the word go – they couldn’t even organise qualifying properly with changes being made mid-season in previous years.
While Renault remained calmly professional but firm in their statement, team boss Flavio Briatore showed his typical emotive side, indicating that while the Italian may not always be right, Formula One is clearly still held very close to his heart.
Our aim is to reduce costs while maintaining the high standards that make Formula One one of the most prestigious brands on the market. We want to achieve this in a coordinated manner with the regulatory and commercial bodies, and we refuse to accept unilateral governance handed out by the FIA.
If the decisions announced by the World Council on the 29th of April 2009 are not revised, we have no choice but to withdraw from the FIA Formula One World Championship at the end of 2009. Flavio Briatore.
It is this “unilateral governance” that has caused much of the problem, and had the FIA spent more time discussing the options with FOTA rather than seemingly ignoring their efforts, then this issue would have likely been avoided.
As the 29th May deadline for entries to the 2010 World Championship approaches, it is still unknown if a compromise can be hammered out. FOTA chairman and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is expected to meet with Max Mosley prior to the Monaco Grand Prix, where solution will surely be found. Until then though, Formula One will once again endure bad press after bad press as the sport makes the headlines for all the wrong reasons.