The FOTA teams met yesterday in London to discuss developments in the 2010 rules and to co-ordinate a response to the FIA’s introduction of a £40 million budget cap for next season.
The statement, as usual, was fairly bland and uninformative, but did hint at the seriousness of the situation, as it sees it,
“FOTA held a positive and constructive meeting and agreed to continue working together in a methodical manner for the definition of further cost-reduction in 2010 and 2011, progressing along the path begun in 2008. FOTA has concerns with the decisions taken at the last WMSC meeting regarding the 2010 regulations and therefore asks to begin urgent consultations with the FIA.”
The statement was issued yesterday evening and made no reference to the death of FIA president Max Mosley’s 39 year old son Alexander, announced earlier in the day. Mosley has cancelled a planned visit to Spain this weekend for the Grand Prix, where he was due to hold a press conference. His son’s death is bound to dominate his thoughts and his agenda for a period of time.
The teams have been given a one week window later this month in which they have to enter the 2010 championship. So it is a matter of urgency for them to decide on a co-ordinated negotiating position and see if they can get the FIA around the table to smooth out the plans for 2010 to make them work for more of the teams. Mosley said on Friday however, in an interview I did with him for the Financial Times,
“We may have a very damaging conflict, it’s possible, but we are prepared for that. We’d tough it out. We’ve got very little room to negotiate.”
Basically the teams are all agreed that you cannot have two tier F1, with some cars running budget capped and others running outside it with fewer technical freedoms. But beyond that there is a split, with half the teams, the independents, in favour of a budget cap at around £40 million and the other half with a range of objections.
The rules for 2010 also include the winner takes all points system, which had been voted through for this season, but the teams objected that their unanimous vote was needed to bring it through at such short notice and the FIA backed down, declaring that it would be deferred to 2010.
It is now enshrined in the rules as follows, “The Formula One World Championship Driver’s Title will be awarded to the driver who has been classified first in the greatest number of races, all official results from the Championship season being taken into account.
“Points will be awarded to all drivers in accordance with Article 6.4 below and, in the event that two or more drivers win an equal number of races, the driver with the greatest number of points will be awarded the Driver’s title.”
There is no mention of medals being awarded, but in all other respects it is the same as the plan put forward by Bernie Ecclestone late last year.