FIA and FOTA remain deadlocked on F1 governance and budget cap

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Now the dust has settled following a day of remarkable developments we can understand why the two sides in the FIA-FOTA row remain deadlocked.

The two sides have moved closer together on the matter of how deep cost cuts must be. But FOTA’s demand for reform of how F1 is governed has received no recognition from FIA president Max Mosley, and fundamental questions remain about how a budget cap might be enforced.

And FOTa is set to apply more pressure to the FIA this weekend.

The FIA’s F1 entry list for 2010

Williams and Force India

Williams and Force India had already admitted they were willing to enter the 2010 season on the FIA’s terms, and have been suspended from FOTA as a result. As yet they are the only two teams to have defected.

Campos, Manor and USF1

Another three teams to have their entries accepted unconditionally were a trio of new outfits. These were chosen from a total of 15 new applicants and some surprise was expressed as to which ones were selected. Joan Villadelprat, boss of Epsilon Euskadi, one of the other teams to submit an entry, said:

I’m surprised by two of them. I don’t want to name anyone
Joan Villadelprat

Given that USF1’s application was first revealed five months ago, it’s safe to assume he’s referring to Campos and Manor.

The existence of Campos’s bid, submitted by former F1 driver Adrian Campos, was known.

Manor competes in Formula Three at present and ran Kimi Raikkonen in Formula Renault in 2000 (the year before he stepped up to Formula 1) and Lewis Hamilton in the same series in 2002 and 2003, and in F3 in 2004. Team boss John Booth gave a quote which hints at a possible reason why their application was successful:

We wanted to be independent of a manufacturer because we don’t want to be used as a political pawn – it was a conscious decision not to approach them.
John Booth

Nick Wirth’s company Wirth Research will build Manor’s car. Wirth formed Simtek Research with Mosley in 1989 – the team later entered F1 from 1994-1995.

Brawn, McLaren, Toyota, BMW and Renault

Three of the manufacturer teams, plus manufacturer-backed McLaren and manufacturer-supplied Brawn, appear on the list with asterisks besides their name to indicate the provisional status. The FIA noted:

These five teams have submitted conditional entries.The FIA has invited them to lift those conditions following further discussions to be concluded not later than close of business on Friday 19 June.
FIA statement

What is telling is that the FIA didn’t call the teams’ bluff by leaving them off the list. And another three teams on the list might as well have had that asterisk besides their names:

Ferrari, Red Bull and Toro Rosso

The FIA is believed to have included Ferrari, Red Bull and Toro Rosso on its 2010 entry list because it believes these teams cannot back down from pre-existing agreements to compete in F1 next year.

But according to the trio, they have no intention of honouring any such obligation. They insist the status of their entry is the same as that of Brawn, McLaren, Toyota, BMW and Renault.

And it’s not as if the FIA can force them to get onto a plane to Melbourne next March, is it?

The ‘reserve’ list

Ten existing teams supplied entries, 15 new ones submitted applications and 13 were announced for 2010. So what has happened to the other 12?

Lola, Prodrive (Aston Martin), Lotus, Epsilon Euskadi and Superfund have all either expressed disappointment at not being on the 2010 list, and/or suggested they are among a list of ‘reserve’ entries that may step in if the FIA does not get 13 on board from next year. Some of these entries – particularly Lola and Prodrive’s – were widely considered to be among the most realistic of the new teams.

Lola’s Martin Birrane indicated how seriously his team are taking the prospect of being on the grid in 2010 when he admitted they have taken new staff on board:

We have a lot of staff. We’ve hired a couple of dozen top people in the past six weeks. All our engineers are current F1 engineers who have done a fantastic job.
Martin Birrane

We cannot rule out the possibility that some of the more credible-looking entrants were left out to keep the pressure on FOTA.

This leaves seven other entries which were put forward but did not make the ‘reserves’. These could include iSport, N Technology and Litespeed, among others.

Cost cutting

The FIA took the opportunity to reiterate the importance of cost-cutting in F1:

This exercise has demonstrated that the only reason there have been vacancies on the F1 grid for many years was the excessive cost of participation.
FIA statement

But the teams are not disputing this point – and the FIA are not blameless for so few new teams entering F1 in the last decade-and-a-half. The FIA’s demand that new team entrants lodge a $40m bond kept F1 team numbers depressed for years.

In the run-up to today’s announcement the FIA made a series of concessions to FOTA’s position (as discussed yesterday). In terms of the size of budgets F1 teams should have next year the two sides are so close it makes little difference.

The debate is now centred on two problematic points:

Forensic finance

Explaining FOTA’s position, John Howett of Toyota told BBC Radio 5:

We do feel that there is a risk of involving financial forensic control in the sporting regulations and deciding a championship.
John Howett

The fundamental question about whether a budget cap can be enforced has still not been fully addressed. Many of the teams that are backed by major car manufacturers are understandably concerned about the FIA trawling through their books.

The FIA’s “Cost Cap Regulations Handbook” makes clear just what this would involve. The proposed regulations state (emphasis added):

7.4 Each CRT [Cost Regulated Team] must comply fully with any request for information from the Costs Commission. Such requests may necessitate, inter alia: (i) the provision to the Costs Commission and/or its auditors of information of any type (including internal correspondence) in written or other forms; and (ii) the provision to the Costs Commission and/or its auditors of access to its premises and to all employees involved directly or indirectly in the CRT’s participation in the Championship.


7.6 In addition, where the Costs Commission in its absolute discretion considers it necessary in order effectively to monitor a CRT’s compliance with the overriding objective of the Regulations, it may require that auditors identified by the Costs Commission, and independent of the CRTs, be appointed to work with any CRTs for any period during with the CRTs in question are subject to these Regulations. In the event of any such appointment, the CRT in question shall be liable to pay for the auditors’ fees.

It’s not difficult to imagine why teams might object to such invasive scrutiny and sharing such sensitive information with the FIA. After all, the governing body has a poor record of keeping teams’ confidential information secret when conducting its investigations.

FOTA’s solution to this problem is to scrap the budget cap and agree to other cost cuts. It has already offered the FIA a three-year commitment to F1 if it accepts this deal. If that seems short, it is no less than the duration of the Cosworth engine deals signed by the three new teams announced today.

It remains to be seen why Mosley has not accepted this offer. But there is one other serious bone of contention:

Governance of F1

Perhaps the most significant development of the day was how FOTA reacted to the developments by mobilising the next stage of its effort to address the problem of how Formula 1 is governed. It is taking three steps:

Explaining its objections

As usual FOTA couched its statement in carefully judged words, to counter the fire-and-brimstone belligerence of Mosley (and Bernie Ecclestone):

Regrettably FOTA is being forced to outline in detail our objections to the new arbitrary FIA proposals and we will release details of our concerns in the near future which will constructively explain why the FIA’s proposals are bad for the future of Formula One, the jobs of those employed within the motor-racing industry and especially the millions of loyal fans who are dismayed and confused at the internal bickering within our sport.
FOTA statement

We await the details of their complaint with interest.

Formal complaint to the WMSC

FOTA has written directly to the World Motor Sports Council asking them:

We would urge your support to ensure the outcome of these meetings achieves a solution that allows long established competitors to continue in their sport within a framework of sound governance and stability that will ensure the future and sustainability of Formula 1.

I think we can interpret this as an open challenge to Mosley’s authority within the FIA. It is, in effect, turning Mosley’s tactics of divide-and-rule on the governing body, inviting anyone within the WMSC who disagrees with Mosley to take him on.

The next FIA presidential elections are in October, and it’s worth remembering that when striving to win a vote of confidence last year following the sadomasochism scandal, Mosley stated he would not stand for re-election this year. He has since indicated he is considering putting himself forward again after all.

Support from the ACEA

In an unexpected development, FOTA has also called upon the support of the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association. It issued a statement which read:

ACEA has come to the conclusion that the FIA needs a modernised and transparent governance system and processes, including the revision of its constitution, to ensure the voice of its members, worldwide motorsport competitors and motorists are properly reflected. The ACEA members support the activities and objectives of the Formula One Teams Association to establish stable governance, clear and transparent rules which are common to all competitors to achieve cost reductions including a proper attribution of revenues to the F1 teams, in order to deliver a sustainable attractive sport for the worldwide public.
ACEA statement

The ACEA chiefly represents European car makers to the European Union. Of late its business has largely involved reaction to the recession and lobbying the EU for state funds to support the manufacturers. Prior to that it was involved in discussions to reduce the emissions of cars sold in the EU.

It represents several manufacturers which have F1 teams – BMW Group, Daimler (Mercedes), Fiat Group (Ferrari), Renault and Toyota Motor Europe – as well as DAF Trucks, Ford of Europe, General Motors Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, Porsche, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Scania, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Conveniently for FOTA, this year’s head of the ACEA is Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault, who said earlier this week that badly reform is needed in F1:

Today we pay to be in Formula One and that is not normal. Intermediaries have made enough money. We want to take back control of Formula One.
Carlos Ghosn

It’s not clear what kind of impact ACEA might bring to bear on the situation. But the FIA has had run-ins with the EU in the past.

What the FIA say

FOTA’s grievances about governance have so far been met with stony silence from the FIA. But how much longer can it ignore this issue, which has become the core part of FOTA’s objections?

The war goes on

Expect another salvo to be fired on Saturday when Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo holds a press conference before the 77th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours begins.

F1 may have finally reached a watershed moment. We have become used to seeing disputes over the future of the sport – customer cars in 2007, the GPMA in 2005-6 – but this crisis is taking on a different feel.

Perhaps it’s the lateness of the hour and the constant postponement of deadlines, or the irreconcilability of the FIA and FOTA’s positions, or Max Mosley’s failure to even acknowledge FOTA’s complaints over his style of governance.

But it is beginning to look like this situation cannot be resolved without drastic change – either at the top of the FIA, or with several major teams departing to form a new championship.

Read more comments on the news as it broke in here: 2010 F1 teams list to be announced (Update: FIA has revealed list)

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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67 comments on “FIA and FOTA remain deadlocked on F1 governance and budget cap”

  1. “But it is beginning to look like this situation cannot be resolved without drastic change – either at the top of the FIA, or with several major teams departing to form a new championship.”

    The fact that Max moved this deadline means he’s had to backpedal on not naming the teams at all. That indicates to me that he kinda lost out to FOTA today. His tactic of dividing FOTA won’t work anymore – too many people are already mad at Max, and there is always safety in numbers.

    The big question is how this will all end. Even if Max survives to finish the rest of his current term, I don’t see him wielding as much power as he has in the past. I guess the big question to ask if he’ll be able to get his cronies to vote for him again in October.

    1. I guess the big question to ask if he’ll be able to get his cronies to vote for him again in October.

      Not a lot of people thought Balestre would be voted out in 1991 – but he was.

      1. But Balestre was voted out years after the actual war ended. Something like 8-9 years after. And ACEA may be protesting, but I suspect Max gets his votes from the Asian and African delegates – people whom ACEA have no leverage on.

        1. I’m not saying it won’t happen – I’m just saying that Mosley is very confident of his support base, like Balestre was.

          1. Yes, Max has very well controlled a big base of small countries giving him governnace over this sport; he’s supported by people with no any interest in F1.

            For this reason, Max has to be pushed to an inmediate resign. I think this is one of the main reasons of FOTA acting this way.

          2. Keith, there are not many who would want the poisoned chalice that is Mosley’s job, the last time he was challenged under the very dodgy attacks on his personal life, he survived, the time before, no-one wanted the job. I’m puzzled, I find it hard to believe that one man has all this power, normally a body such as the FIA is comittee based, and the leader of such a body represents the view of many…whether I like all the decisions the FIA make or not, i find it hard to believe it is all from Max personally.

          3. Yes, Keith, I`m sure Max is confident or he wouldn’t be pushing it as far as he is.
            I think Journeyer is right that much of Max’ strength lies with the associations outside of Europe.
            ACEA’s backing of FOTA (& implied complaint about the FIA governance of other series) has the potential to shift this from purely an F1 argument & include the problems other series (& other manufacturers) are having with the governing body.
            Can the FIA Senate & WMSC really afford to lose all the European manufacturers from all their Championships? Think what would happen to audience figures, sponsors etc.
            If the argument holds for F1 it also holds for other series, too.

    2. Montezemolo has now effectively said as much:

      In a couple of years the problem with Formula 1 will be solved – as I really hope, with a responsible FIA, as we want, or, as happens in other sports, organising our own championship.

  2. Fair enough.

    “I think we can interpret this as an open challenge to Mosley’s authority within the FIA. It is, in effect, turning Mosley’s tactics of divide-and-rule on the governing body, inviting anyone within the WMSC who disagrees with Mosley to take him on.”

    Wanna be FIA President? Have the cojones to stand up to Max, find some allies, and we at FOTA will take care of the rest. ;)

    BTW, Keith, is there a SKY News appearance in the offing? With all this building up to the British GP weekend (my goodness – won’t this be a titanic final weekend at Silverstone), surely there’s an appearance in the offing?

    1. I`ve seen it suggested elsewhere that if Max (& Bernie) show up at Silverstone the British fans should vocally make their feelings quite clear.

  3. My apologies if this has been covered elsewhere, I must have missed it. But why is the limit of entrants 13? Is there some reason why they can’t have 14 or 15 teams on the grid if that is the number of suitable entries?

    1. Owen, I think it’s on safety grounds. They don’t want too crowded a grid.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        13th June 2009, 4:01

        That’s true. While some circuits – namely Bahrain, Shanghai and probaly Abu Dhabi – could hold as many as thirty cars, others like Monaco could only safely handle twenty-six at most. You’re only as strong as the weakest among you.

    2. You also have to ask how would more teams get paid, Owen G?

  4. With the backing of acea, Fot will have to break away now. I believe as I have previously stated, that if they go to all the old venues,even ones that F1 races at now and get back to some good old school racing, they will thrive.
    Max’s power base is the asian and african as well as mid-east contingent, nothing like having the support of the 3rd world huh.
    This break if it happens will finally tear down the powerbase of Max and Bernie who I believe for all their posturing, are working together in all of this.
    For those companies who have supported Bernie and his house of cards, well this is what happens when you dont deal honestly with people, eventually it catches up to you.
    If FOTA does break away, they should never look back, nothing is as good as destroying those who try and control you, and that is Max and Bernies biggest fault, the are contol freaks of the highest order. If they do pull this off and the FIA comes to them trying to reunify the 2 different series, they should be told no thank you.
    Goodbye F1.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      13th June 2009, 6:19


      FOTA are under no obligation to break away. ACEA might help them politically, but they’re by no means a substitute for the FIA; they perform a compeltely diffeent function.

      Everything we’ve seen so far suggests that both sides of the conflict – FOTA and the FIA – want the teams to continue in Formula One. The problem is that both have different ideas as to how Formula One should continue. FOTA have not said “Right, that’s it, we’re going”; the sheer fact that they keep on with the negotiations is proof that they want to stay. A rival series is only a last resort, not a foregone conclusion as many people seem to be assuming it is.

      Given the complexity of establishing a rival series and th very short time frame in which it would have to be done – which makes it a very tall order – the threat is more that Formula One will be divided than the FIA series having to compete with a FOTA-backed championship. A rival series would need a full set of technical and sporting regulations that everyone would have to agree on, commercial licencing agreements with broadcasters, sponsors, circuits and the like, as well as eighteen races. Between negotiating with the FIA over next year and actually competing in the rest of 2009, there’s not a hell of a lot of time to organise a championship.

      1. Which is better, a clean break now and take some short term losses or nursing a festering wound and knowing you’ll be hurting for decades.

        1. What would be best for me would be a well-run, pinnacle of motorsport with more clarity & stability of rules.
          That’s what FOTA wants. If they can’t get it from the FIA then they can leave but they would all prefer to sort this out which seems unlikely while Max remains at the helm.
          A breakaway series has always been pure speculation. It may happen or it may not.
          If it does it may not be for 2010.

  5. Surely the circuit breaker in this situation has to be that Max has got to go. Love him or hate him, his departure is the lesser evil than 8 established teams leaving the sport.

    My main issue with Max is about his responsibility over regulations of the sport…

    In years gone by the regulations largely remained stable, and dealt with the advent of new technology – aero, ground effect, turbo cars etc

    The main issue with the sport in the last few years is the constant rule changing. There have been so many fundamental changes to the sport in the last 10 years or so! He’s fooled around with the points system, split qualifying into 3 sessions, one lap qualifying, tyres that last a race distance, engines that last mutliple races, KERS, the list goes on.

    Surely Max should be aiming for stability in regulations?

  6. I have not seen anyone make the connection between the suspended FOTA members, Williams and Force India, which have unconditionally accepted the new regulations and the fact that they depend on Toyota and Mercedes for their engines, who are both firmly in the FOTA camp.

    Of course, there must be some contractual agreement between team and engine supplier, but would Merc or Toyota still be prepared to make a 2.4 litre V8 for Max & Bernie if FOTA (plus others) go off in a different direction for their engine specification?

    And even if Merc and Toyota are contractually bound to supply, what happens to the price or on-going development? It may not be too long before Williams and Force India have to shop around for another engine supplier to find a viable, competitive power source.

    1. If the fota teams leave, both williams and force india are without engines. There is a contract in place to provide engines, but i have no doubt this would be whislt toyota and merc are competeing in f1. If they go, the grid will be made up of all cosworths and no technology.

      Think of this.

      One engine accross the grid,no Mclaren ECU, no gear box as currently the gear box teams run are from the manufactures. Bridgestone will tell the FI to bugger off because the advertising attraction is gone, 3/4 of the electronics developed by the manufactures are gone. Get rid of this and all you have is a spec car, which is identical to gp2. This is not f1.Williams and Force India use the manufactures operating systems to run there cars.

      The manufactures leaving f1 will leave a huge hole in the essiential requirement. Not only that the driver are contracted to the teams. So f1 loses the most popular cars as well as the most popular drivers. Just between germany, spain, italy you looking at over 100million viewers, if another series starts. This doesnt include the supporters world wide.

    2. If ACEA is against it then it would be possible that no carmaker would provide engines.
      Cosworth is in the wings but, as Sir Frank said, thye haven`t made an F1 engine in years & they`ve never made one which has to last 4 races.

  7. Jose Arellano
    13th June 2009, 5:19

    why bernie hasnt said anything ?

  8. Ten existing teams supplied entries, 15 new ones submitted applications and 13 were announced for 2010. So what has happened to the other 12?

    If there are 12 other teams interested in becoming a F1 player then why can’t we have a second tier group, similar to what they have in the English Premier Leauge.

    It would work by having a relagation zone for the bottom 2 teams in F1. The 2 teams with the least amount of points in the 2009 championship would fall into the second tier for the folloing year (for example Force India and Toro Rosso) and the top 2 teams of the second tier in the 2009 championship would enter into F1 in the next season (for example Lola and Prodrive).

    Not only would we get more racing but we would get more exitement. With Button dominating the championship this season and leading so convisingly, he has almost sucked all the exitment out of the fight for the title, but if we had a relagation zone then our focus could turn to the teams in danger of falling out of F1 and the exitement of the second tier fight for teams to rise into F1 and this would contiue right to the final round in Abu Dhabi.

    I see no reason why this concept couldn’t work and the equation is simple. More teams = more races = more new driver talent = more exitement = more interset.

    1. I would love to hear what other F1 fans think of this concept or any similar concept that you might have.

      1. interesting concept, but this is not f1. If we look at f1 over the last 20years we have had teams come and go but the reality is all the drama has been caused by the FIA. If max left it the way it was and let the teams, the people who spend the money decide to structure the championship rules with total agreement there would not be this issue. The teams were reducing cost and everybody was in agreement. F1 has never been about equality, if you want equality go and join a spec series. F1 is about building the best car no matter what.

        The issue here is funding and the teams are fed up. They have invested billions in a sport to get it to where it is today, so 3 clowns can make millions on there investment. Is it fair the CVC and Bernie make over 500million a year, for doing nothing whilst the teams who spend the money and make the product need to split 500million between them. I think not.

    2. Prisoner Monkeys
      13th June 2009, 7:07

      So … you’re basically proposing a two-tier system? I’m assuming you mean all the cars will be on the circuit at one time, because to force a team onto the sidelines for a year would mean they’d go bankrupt.

      1. Both tiers would race through the same year but it would work like a first divistion and second division where the bottom 2 teams drop to second division for the next season and the top two teams enter the first division for the next season. All the teams would be still competing every year, it’s just a matter of which diviion they would be in.

        Like what the soccer does in the EPL.

        1. I still havent explained it well.

          It would work like two different catagories but they would be still both connected because you can rise up to the top catagorie or fall to the bottom catagori depending on what your results are like.

          1. Prisoner Monkeys
            13th June 2009, 8:23

            So the Second Division races on Saturdays and the First Division on Sunday?

            How are you going to sell THAT to the GP2 teams?

          2. Yeah, I was just going to say, that’s what GP2 is for.

    3. They build the cars well in advance. There would be a couple of very unhappy teams who had already spent a lot of money every year.
      They would, presumably also have to continue to pay entry (309,000 Euros) for the year they were relegated.
      I can think of more problems but that`s probably enough for now :)

      1. Why would they be unhappy. At least there still racing.

        1. If, as Prisoner Monkey says, you are considering running double races at GP weekends then the likelihood is that, unless you cut the races by 50% the 2nd division would not get live TV coverage. So, they would have all the expense of the top division but none of the advantages.
          You would also, as Prisoner Monkey said, be taking track time away from the other support series.

  9. Very well summarized article Keith.

    There is another declaration of Carlos Ghosn that I think put in context one of the big differences between Big Teams and Mosely management (well hard to say this is management) style:

    “The numerous changes in the Formula 1 Championship’s technical and sporting regulations, which are receiving extensive press coverage of late, mean that RENAULT Sport can no longer be sure of its long-term business outlook,”

    This man is running this sport as if there was a group of fans in their homes’ garages instead of big public companies behind each team.

    According to Formula One Money 2008 budget for all 10 Teams was 2.191 Millions, this year total budget is 1.363 Millions (30% reduction), what FIA is asking now is a further reduction of another 50%, representing all Teams making a 70% reduction respect to 2008 budgets.

    This is a big write off of all those teams have invested in the last years.

    But at the same time, new improvisations regarding double diffusers, KERS… that are costing them a fortune…

    What will be next?

    I cannot agree more with Carlos Ghosn. How many of those F1 Teams are going to present an accurate Business plan to their Board of Directors under this conditions?

    An advise for New Teams coming:

    Are you sure enough Mad Max will not make the same in the future with this policy of “change everything in two weeks because I’ve seen another oportunistic way to take more: money, control, power….”?

    What a ridiculous situation! Shame on Max!!!

    Other thing that surprise me a lot is Bernie Ecclestone is so quiet.

    Is not the case there is a hidden agenda:

    First point: The head of Max now; not wait to see what happen nextl October.

    Rest: There are not so many differences between what FOTA is proposing and what FIA ask for, in terms of cost cutting. Main differences (IMHO) are: Sport governnance and Forensic accounting control.

  10. I say bring on the breakaway series.. If it could be run more like Indycar was in the early 90’s where fans could get into the paddock and see the drivers, scrutineering etc instead of treating us like dirt the way they do at present it can only be a good thing.

  11. A very well thought out article Keith.

    what i see is if, and a big IF at that, the WMSC does a miracle and backs FOTA, then those in the FIA may have no choice but go for a vote of confidence against Mosley. And maybe those you might think would back Max may indeed vote him out.

    I would not be surprised if in a couple of weeks time we have a news flash saying Max has resigned.

    I really believe Max’s resignation is the only way Formula One can get it’s dignity back.

    Although a lot of people on here (and i am partly one of them) and in the media are asking for, and expecting a breakaway series. I would prefer F1 to just get it’s act together and let’s get back to discussing the racing again.

    1. Although a lot of people on here (and i am partly one of them) and in the media are asking for, and expecting a breakaway series. I would prefer F1 to just get it’s act together and let’s get back to discussing the racing again.

      I agree, fixing F1 would be a preferred solution to a breakaway series, but I think if we’re going to fix the problem then it needs to be quite radical. And there’s no way Max (and Bernie) would entertain even 10% of what needs to be done. As ACEA’s statement made clear, ‘The current governance system cannot continue”.

      There are so many arguments on such a regular basis in Formula 1 that the latest eruption tends to make us forget the previous mal-administration by Max and Bernie: For example, it seems the 2005 US Indianapolis F1GP tyre debacle is a distant memory now, but even the serious Economist magazine said at the time that under Max “Formula One loses the plot” and speculated that “If Mr Mosley stands and is re-elected [in November 2005], F1 could well collapse, and a new, rival championship in 2008 will become a racing certainty.” Well, he did get re-elected and also survived his S&M scandal.

      Like many fans I am fed up with the “internal bickering” – it may put a smile on Bernie’s face to see F1 on both the back and front pages, but these frequent arguments quickly get tedious. It’s therefore tempting to say “Let’s once and for all do the deed, cut Max and Bernie out of the equation and set up a new, rival championship with the motto: ‘Getting back to racing'”, but I agree with Keith, the only split F1 needs is a break away from Max (and, I would add, Bernie).

      FOTA, ACEA, the drivers and others must continue to chose their words carefully and play a steady, calm game, even if this goes all the way to the November elections and drives us fans nuts in the meantime. We too may have to indulge in a little painful S&M over the next few months, but I think we all know the end result will be worth it: a single formula without Max and Bernie.

      On a related point, I’ve seen lots of comment about the relatively short time-frame for team commitment: 2012 is the expiry date. Could it just be a coincidence that Bernie’s contract with the FIA will expire on the last day of 2012?

  12. A wonderfully articulated and well thought-out piece, Keith. Thanks.

  13. Keith, first of all thanks for an excellent acticle.
    If I may point out, Litespeed is Lotus, so on the waiting list, not out.

  14. Bartholomew
    13th June 2009, 9:36

    Very good article indeed, Keith

  15. Max has used misdirection and personal attacks to achieve his dominance of the sport and ultimately to what end? The betterment of the sport? No, the protection of the income and the distribution of the sports finance to CVC and Bernie.

    The cost cap has nothing to do with making the sport affordable, it has everything to do with keeping most of the money generated flowing into CVC’s pocket in lieu of the teams. As Bernie has previously stated, if the cost cap is implemented he expects to pay the teams less, not more.

    Bernie and CVC have created a business model based on nonsustainable INCOME levels as opposed to non sustainable team expenditures. CVC needs to go the way of Kirsch when they radically overpaid for the sporting rights to F1. Bankruptcy.

    Follow the money, not as in what the teams spend, but what income levels CVC requires to sustain their debt and profit potentials. Mosley is the shill for this effort, pure and simple.

    Carlos Ghosen summed it up nicely. We bring everything to the sport and we have to pay for the privilege while outsiders take most of the income???

    Follow the money.

    1. I`m sure Keith has referred to this somewhere but just to clarify how stupid some of Max` comments are take another look at James Allen’s “What are the teams to F1?”Max can make things sound very plausible until you actually stop to think ;)

  16. Now here’s something interesting regarding how the new teams were chosen, who by, and why FIA claim there hasn’t been new team arrivals for some years. Think back to the $40 million dollar bond imposed by who?
    Check the last sentence of the second answer, and the last sentence of the last answer.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      13th June 2009, 14:12

      So a short list of five was presented to Max . . .
      And I thought the bond was imposed by Max too in order to guarantee the ‘seriousness’ of the entrants.
      All roads lead to Max.

  17. We should be careful what we wish for!

    It’s interesting that the ‘Le Mans’ teams are welcoming FOTA to their ranks,but have shown no interest themselves in ever wanting to ‘jump ship’ the other way.Why is that I wonder?

    My understanding is that FOTA will think twice before letting any other manufactures join their little band,private teams maybe,manufactures definitely not.Do we really want to see the same old manufacturer teams year after year?

    1. My understanding is that FOTA will think twice before letting any other manufactures join their little band,private teams maybe,manufactures definitely not.Do we really want to see the same old manufacturer teams year after year?

      Got a source for that, VXR?
      I`ve never heard FOTA discuss the topic of who in future should or should not be admitted.

      1. Got a source for that, VXR?
        I`ve never heard FOTA discuss the topic of who in future should or should not be admitted.

        My source is at Le Mans at the mo,I’ll be getting an update fairly soon though.

        How he laughed when ‘Monty’ said that “Ferrari’s heart and soul are with F1” Enzo must be turning in his grave.

  18. We cannot rule out the possibility that some of the more credible-looking entrants were left out to keep the pressure on FOTA.

    i don’t understand how that adds up. keith, could you elaborate, please?

    1. I think – prodrive is more of a serious threat to replace a team like bmw, rather than we will replace you with manor racing. So it is kind of like, we have teams of a good pedigree who can easily replace you, so replacing like for like instead of good replaced by not so good, if that makes sense

      1. Yes & also that by automatically entering 3 teams who don`t want to be there & demanding the others sign unconditionally within a week, Max is trying again to split FOTA.
        F1 doesn`t need Ferrari according to Max so why enter them?
        If he had treated all FOTA similarly he would have been able to fit 3 more of his new teams in.
        He may also have left out the bigger new boys to make a point.
        After all an F1 with only small outfits would be much easier to control. ;)

  19. I think that no matter how much Mosely insists F1 doesn’t need any established teams, most people with votes in the election will see that F1 can only exist with prestigious namess like Ferrari, McLaren and current innovators like Brawn and Red Bull. They’ll see that Mosely is being careless potentially losing them and the support of millions. The tifosi would leave, Alonso may leave meaning a lot of spanish fans would disappear. I may even stop watching. I’d have thought the BBC may have an escape clause too, otherwise they’ll be forced to spend a fortune filming an airing a series no one will watch.

  20. I understand that many people are angry and hate Mad Max, but I think that he has his merits too. F1 is not just a sport, not just racing. Like everything else in the world, it’s also business. And business changes all the time. I don’t understando why most people SIDE with FOTA. I’m not siding with Mad Max, but to say that we have to trust F1 to people like Briatore and Montezemolo!? What the hell is this about? Everyone says that Max is not thinking about what’s best for F1, just thinking about getting more and more for himself. And Briatore? Montezemolo? What are THEY trying to do?

  21. Accidentalmick
    13th June 2009, 12:53

    @ Flig

    I think you are missing the point. “people like Briatore and Montezemolo” create the show for us to watch. Mosley brings no added value to the event.

    1. I’ll have to disagree here. Maybe Briatore, yes, in 94/95. But they are actually trying to steal the show. They obviously DON’T want a big show, they want their very private show, among 3 or 4 rich guys to exchange championships. Who’s won since 90? Williams, McLaren, Briatore (Renault+Benetton) and Ferrari. No one else. And they don’t want Brawns and Jordans and and Campos and Epsilon Euskadis winning championships.

  22. I’m surprised this hasnt been brought up, but…

    IF the budget cap comes in, be it staged ($100mil this year, $40mil next), or at once, that’s a MASSIVE cut in staff levels across F1.

    Has Max considered the impact on all these workers and their families? It astounds me that anyone could be so insensitive. Shouldnt they be adopting measures to MAINTAIN employment during an economic downturn?

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      13th June 2009, 14:18

      b0son, yes this has been mentioned on various threads on the blog. And I think it was one of Ferrari’s arguments too in that personnel plans had already been made for 2010 and changes of the magnitude proposed would take another season to implement.

      1. I remember once, I read that the F1 was, on a single event, the thing that circulated more money in all the world. No event is bigger, financially speaking, than F1. In times of crisis, it’s just OBVIOUS that things have to change. The whole world’s priorities are changing, it’s not just a question of how fast cars can go or how many britons can win championships.

  23. Another thought on why the FIA picked Campos, USF1 and Manor to be promoted. Manor boss John Booth said in an interview:

    It’s really the budget cap that’s enabled us and other new teams to come in and compete.

    Did the FIA prefer to promote the new teams that would need the budget cap to compete, rather than those who might need only need a cost reduction of the order promised by FOTA?

    Or, to put it another way, might Prodrive and Lola be persuaded to compete in a potential FOTA championship?

    1. Or, to put it another way, might Prodrive and Lola be persuaded to compete in a potential FOTA championship?

      Why would they want to spend more money on not being in Formula One ?

      I think that the FIA held them back to say: Look,if you think that there are only three new teams capable of coming into F1 then you’d better think again!

  24. theRoswellite
    13th June 2009, 19:01

    Only one problem really…the Berniemax. In this case the Second head seems to have seriously gone astray.

    My apologies for any French diction errors.


    From open beak one tongue extending
    Repeats in call the shriek pretending,
    “I am the law, I am the ending,
    I have your heart, I have your spending.”

    L’etat c’est moi.

    While the second head in tilt displays
    An eye transfixed in stolid gaze,
    Upon the knot where it doth sit
    With claws sunk deep in legal writ.

    L’etat c’est moi.

    This bird of body girth unending
    Can only flop in flight pretending.
    While it’s two heads on necks entwined,
    Spin round about, unravel then rewind.

    L’etat c’est moi.

    Is this our future, this our past,
    To stand forever with pleas held fast,
    And our reward, just duff and feather dander
    Falling from our own, this Uber-Overlander.

    L’etat c’est moi.


    1. With claws sunk deep in legal writ.

      Yeah, sounds like F1.

  25. With the way things currently are, a split would be the best thing.

    But since when Formula 1 and Cost cutting started going together. They are an oxymoron as much as saying Fernando Alonso enjoyed his time at McLaren. Cost cutting and Formula One simply don’t go together. If they did, we wouldn’t have the inventions we have today and I can safely assume that some commodities in our lives wouldn’t exist.

  26. I’m looking forward to seeing who’s still standing at the beginning of round two on the 19th…

    1. I’m looking forward to seeing who’s still standing at the beginning of round two on the 19th…

      Someone is definitely going to be bringing out the big guns on that day I can tell you!

  27. The hell with Mosley and the FIA. The teams make the racing. F1 should remain about the best drivers and technology. And that can only come from the manufacturers. And while we are on this, the FIA has royally screwed up several key decisions on regulations, venue selection, etc.

  28. With all Due respect Keith, i didn’t bother reading the post, as I’m really sick of this dilemma…

    Although i have respect for both Fota and Mosley, i think ultimately, the deadlock is solely for the redistribution of the earnings. For Carlos Ghosn to bluntly go out in public and say we need to get more of the pie summarises everything.

    when the economy was well and automakers were making money no one really cared that Ecclestone was reeling in the dineros, now that the Proverbial S**t hit the Fan(no pun intended),everyone wants in… and Both Mosley and Ecclestone don’t want that to happen.

    i understand their reasoning, why do you want more of our money, with lower costs, you wont need that extra 100 million because you will be cutting 400 million in costs (Ferrari’s case).

    in any case, i have a feeling this will end in one of two ways. FIA bends over and gives Fota what they want for the sake of the show, OR which i think will happen, FOTA will split, the FIA will carry on with F1 and a bunch of new teams. sue the FOTA members for breaching contract take millions out of their accounts. FOTA will try to establish a split run series, but FIA will not make it easy. hence a new F1 Era will emerge…. and the de-restricted Formula X we all dream of will be gone for good.

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