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Posted By:   |  31 May 2009   |  10:08 pm GMT  |  59 comments

I’ve been fascinated by the coverage of the FOTA teams’ entry for next year’s world championship in the last couple of days.

On Friday morning I was saying that something was going to come out of FOTA which was quite different from the convergence position with the FIA that was being widely reported. And so it proved. Then when the FOTA statement was made most commentators seemed to see it as Ferrari and the other eight teams signing up after all, which it was some way from being.

Ferrari obviously felt quite frustrated with this and so they issued one of those self-generated Q & A documents, with team principal Stefano Domenicali. The intention here was to SPELL IT OUT for those who hadn’t quite grasped the point of what FOTA is saying.

I won’t go over it again, because I’ve written enough about it already, but two things need to be taken away from Stefano’s comments.

First that all nine teams are willing to sign up to race in F1 until the end of 2012 (if their conditions are met). The importance of this point is that the teams are saying that the sport need not fear that it will lose any existing teams, they are making it clear they aren’t going anywhere. The fear of losing teams was one of the main drivers for the budget cap idea.

Second, whereas before Monaco weekend, it was only Ferrari, Toyota, Red Bull and Renault saying that they would quit F1 if the 2010 rules were not changed, now all nine FOTA teams are saying that, which is a much stronger proposition, as Domenicali spells out below.

“It’s very simple. The nine teams – Williams membership having been suspended – that currently make up FOTA, have put in entries for the 2010 championship that will only be valid if the Concorde Agreement is signed and if the regulations will be those currently in use, but modified as per FOTA’s suggestions. The action taken yesterday is completely in keeping with Ferrari’s principles, as stated at the Main Board meeting on 12 May and with those of FOTA.

Q. What will happen if these conditions are not met?

SD: Once again, the answer is simple: the entries from the nine teams will be invalid.”

This has moved the story on quite a bit from the Monaco weekend and is completely against the grain of what was being reported in the days following Monaco.

The FIA believes that Ferrari has a contract to race in F1 and that this was proven in the Paris court case Ferrari brought, seeking an injunction, before Monaco. If the FIA decides to play hardball and reject FOTA’s conditions, it may be that Ferrari, Williams and the new teams are the only names on the entry list which will be published on June 12th.

Meanwhile I note that Alex Wurz has tabled an entry with his Austrian chums from Superfund. Without a sniff of a new team on the horizon for years we now have five putting in entries, which means paying a £2.5 million engine deposit. Some of them have been planning this moment for years, waiting for the right circumstances, others are seizing an opportunity.

Fascinating times..

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  1. We’d be fascinated to hear your view on this – Pitpass is reporting that there’s no such thing as a “conditional entry” in the regulations and suggesting that the teams have well and truly lobbed the ball into Mosley’s court by claiming there is, for him to return as he sees fit. More here:

    http://www.pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_news_item.php?fes_art_id=38040

  2. The Jackal says:

    “Fascinating times..”

    Fascinating ? Huh ?

    I suppose you might find torture “invigorating” ?

    This political maneuvering is the sort of thing most of us watch racing to ESCAPE.

    For me, the combined machinations of Mosley and
    Ecclestone have more or less ruined a sport I used to
    love dearly. Let me say that again : they have RUINED IT.

    This will quite likely be the last season I take an interest in F1 [mod]

  3. MartinWR says:

    I guess the best response to the the nonsensical time waster that is the “block entry” would be for Max Mosley to write to each team principal individually (within the FOTA group of nine) asking them to clarify their position. That is, are they each intending to enter cars built to the 2010 rules or not? A simple question requiring a simple answer – Yes, or No.

    If he fails to do that he will be playing to FOTA’s tune, and his position will be greatly weakened in consequence. As FOTA in general, and Ferrari and Toyota in particular, have no rational plan for the future, to play into their hands will spell disaster for F1. The FOTA teams have, regrettably, proved yet again that they would be incapable of running the sport themselves, owing to their own widely differing circumstances. The only common purpose they have is to attempt to make it absolutely impossible for the FIA to run it.

  4. James says:

    Hi James, slightly off topic, but I was wondering if you could give me any scoop on a topic. On June 20th, (Qualifying day for the British GP) there will be an F1 pit stop challenge in Plymouth City Centre as part of Mens Health Week.

    I was wondering if you knew which team will be visiting? I’ve been sifting through the web for a the last couple of days, but have found nothing. I’d guess that it would be either Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Williams, Force India or Brawn GP…? Something tells me the manufacturers would be less interested in this…

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Jonathan says:

    I still think this is all gamesmanship.
    What on earth would Brawn or McLaren do if they were not in F1?
    Also I think entry into the championship does not mean that a manufacturer can’t just pull the plug. They can do whatever they want
    Contracts are made to be broken.

  6. Dans says:

    This is shaping into a great drama, who needs tv!

  7. Wonderful my friend

    Thank you

    almhml

  8. Loti says:

    Without knowing the contents of the contract that Ferrari has with the FIA it is hard not to think that it is not breakable, whether it is or not, hours and cash wasted in court is nothing compared to the loss FOM will feel, as well as the image of the sport which, lets face it, is pretty bad already. What would Bernie have to sell to all those new countries queueing up to host a race?
    Having said that, i would imaging that Brawn and Force India would jump ship but even so.
    Pity the politics is so much more interesting than the racing!

  9. Alistair Blevins says:

    Do you know when the FIA is set to respond to the submission of the FOTA 9?

  10. So why are The Times (and various others) reporting Ferrari’s position as a ‘U-turn’ when it clearly isn’t?

  11. sean says:

    James you said it the only reason for the budget cap being forced in by max was that he was told teams would leave if there wasn’t one.Now what, maybe the reason that some of these teams are coming forward is because the huge entry fee demanded before no longer applies didn’t that used to be 20 odd mil.

  12. Phil Bishop says:

    I work in the media and find it simultaneously fascinating and abhorrent how poor some journalists are. James you seem to be the only media representative that is actually thinking about what lies behind and within a press release. Your “competitors” seem to be more concerned with getting something up on the website, quickly – screw it if it’s wrong or incomplete. I didn’t like much of your TV work (sorry) but your written work is superb. Well done.

    Back on topic

    it is going to be fascinating watching Bernie and Max try to balance the needs of the 5 new teams who have entered on the basis of a budget cap against the 9 FOTA members that are in essence saying drop the cap or we will not enter.

    I doubt it but hopefully the politics will be resolved soon. This weekend is what it is all about – racing.

  13. Alexis says:

    “Q. What will happen if these conditions are not met?

    SD: Once again, the answer is simple: the entries from the nine teams will be invalid.”

    No they won’t be. They’ve signed up with their silly ‘conditions’ attached whereas they have little choice: play ball or quit and be sued for millions for breach of contract.

    Sure, the FIA will manouvre and compromise slightly to keep the peace, but they teams, especially Ferrari, have already lost.

    They are in no position to lay down conditions because they’ve already signed up. Therefore they have accepted the FIA’s terms – they cannot change what they’ve already signed up to.

  14. Aaron James says:

    I think pretty much anyone who read the actual press releases following FOTA’s ‘entry’ got the message. What is curious and deeply perplexing is why Fleet Street characterised the entry as either a) Ferrari backdown, b) Peace in our time or c) Victory for the FIA.

    It’s as if they were being deliberately obtuse in their reporting.

    I mean, they (the FIA, the teams, Ecclestone’s pinstrip mob), have had how many years to sign a concorde? And FOTA now demand one by June. That is extremely unlikely, particularly given CVC’s perilous finances.

    The passionate fan is often cynical about the mainstream media. And it’s situations like these that fuel that cynicism. It’s hard to stay of the mind they are _NOT_ in cahoots with some powerbroker when they run such obviously oblivious stories.

  15. Caron says:

    I agree with you that it’s far from over yet.

    The biggest threat, in my view, to a fair solution being found to the current deadlock is FOTA unity crumbling in the face of divide and rule tactics by the FIA.

    It would be unthinkable for Max Mosley to accept all the new teams and reject greats like Ferrari, Renault, McLaren as well as the stars of the moment, Brawn. I suspect fans of all the 9 teams would have something to say at Silverstone if this is the way the FIA decided to go.

    Potentially there are only 5 places left on the grid for 9 teams now and Mr Mosley and his friends may well want to make side deals with some of the teams to reinforce his authority on the sport. That might give him short term gain but it would ultimately harm the sport.

    If FOTA were to show Mosley and the FIA that they were going to hold together, he would have to either get sensible and start negotiating or wield the axe and publicly execute Formula One.

  16. Am I the only person who thinks Ferrari are in danger of wrecking F1? I can’t work out if Ferrari are doing it because they believe their own PR or because they’re making a play to own F1… either way I just wish they’d leave and let the rest of the grid get on with racing cars.

  17. Sublimeuk says:

    James, now you know why so many of us come to this site as our first port of call. Not only are you up-to-the-minute with your news, but it is always clear, concise and, above all, accurate.

    Thanks again

  18. Marc says:

    Am I missing something? What have Brawn and Force India got to gain from opposing the budget cap?

  19. Spenny says:

    Ferrari wrecking the sport? No, it is technology and a methodical approach that is the lifeblood of F1 that seems to have wrecked the sport.

    Historically, the ebb and flow of a championship was not simply about drivers having good and bad races, but the technological battle through the season, with the teams bringing forward improvements that changed the balance between the drivers.

    The problem we are starting to see is that, with the lack of testing, the teams are limited in how they can respond. With a capped approach, it seems more likely that once behind, another team will struggle to compete.

    In same/similar car series, there is an assumption that the difference between the teams is their set-up ability and the drivers. That has never really been the case in F1. Go back to Williams hey-day and you had massive differences in cars, but the championships were rarely as cut and dried as the Brawn supremacy we are seeing at the moment.

    So oddly, while I don’t agree that Ferrari is killing F1, it is the technology that puts the teams into a different league from the other classes which is strangling the sport. By putting in caps and too many restraints on spending, you take away the levelling element that has been important in F1. It would be disastrous for F1 to be so constrained in testing and parts building during the season that the team that wins is the one that starts the season with the best car.

    It strikes me that neither FOTA nor FIA have got a good solution as by simply stripping costs out by capping or by restricting important activities, you grant the championship to the driver sitting in the car that was designed right first time.

  20. travelrat says:

    My brain hurts!

    I think I’ll just wait to see who’s on the grid at Melbourne next year.

  21. Sam says:

    I won’t cry if Ferrari quit F1 (which I doubt). I’ve had enough of all their preferential treatment, this contract with the FIA that seems to give them more advantages than their opposition and generally their complete arrogance.

    This season (so far) has been a breath of fresh air to this long-time F1 fan and long may it continue.

    To be honest, I would rather lose all the big manufacturers and have all the new entries on the grid next year if it means we get rid of all this needle. I just hope they don’t drag the likes of Brawn GP with them when they go. FOTA has become a farce.

  22. Leo Allen says:

    Ecclestone Pinstripes, Mosley, and the whole F1 system has got exactly what it wants out of this furore…..

    This debacle has produced acres and acres of newsprint, TV coverage, F1 bloggers reportage and comment….which is precisely what Ecclestone and Mosley’s lot desire more than anything…and that is keeping F1 on the font pages and in every TV report, every day of the year.

    This blog and these comments prove my point for me !

    QED.

  23. Vidge says:

    The FIA, in my opinion, have no right to try and change the sport in this way.

    Max needs to remember that they are only there to enforce the rules, they should not be making them, and if they do make them, they should have to talk to all parties about, rather than bring in this sweeping rule change and say like it or lump it!

    what would happen in football if suddenly FIA said, we will make it 9 a side? or tried to make the teams operate to a budget cap?!

    F1 is a billion $ business, stop trying to turn it in to F3!

  24. kammy T says:

    I wish they would stop bickering and get on with racing.

    I like to open up F1 websites and see the news about racing drivers, new developments with the cars etc.

    All I have seen over this year is double diffusers, will the British GP go ahead, and all this about budgets/rights to F1.

    Its just another racing series, which we all love.

    Just get on with it and it does not need to be made hard.

    Good work James.

    Kam

  25. Sven says:

    Could it be that FOTA has made its mind up to take on the FIA for a final time.
    If their application with their conditions are accepted F1 will continue as we know it.
    If not accepted they start their own series next year with Williams joining in the year after when their contract with the FIA for 2010 has been fullfilled.
    As for Ferrari who might have to take part untill 2012 if their contract is binding they could do both series untill then but of course with their star drivers in the new FOTA series. Then from 2013 withdraw from the FIA run F1 which would gradually fade into insignificanse. Especially if the big events like Monaco join the FOTA series.

  26. jed says:

    I am totally with FOTA in this issue. If they quit F1, i believe a rival series will be set up as racing in the pinnacle of motorsports is big business and will always be big business.

    A breakaway series will be successfull. This cannot be compared with the Indycar split because F1 has a global appeal and it is the pinnacle of motorsport.

    Thus, if FOTA makes a breakaway series, for sure it will be their series that will be the pinnacle of motorsports. Their fans will follow them. There are many television channels that will be willing to broadcast them. Logically, TV advertisers will advertise in the premier racing series, and maybe James will be a tv commentator again.

    There are more than enough racetracks in the world that can accomodate them.

    what will the public watch? a race between williams, i-sport, pro-drive and whatever most probably running the same engines?

    or a race between Ferrari, mclaren, BMW, Toyota, Renault and etc.?

    Max cannot win this war. He knows it, that is why he wants to destroy F1 so there will be no winners.

    But because FOTA got rid of it’s rotten egg and now stands united FOTA will win. There will be great racing. Whether or not it will be called F1 remains to be seen.

  27. Michael C says:

    So at the end of the day history will repeat itself and a compromise will be reached bringing the budget down – and on a pretty steep curve. In the current financial circumstances even F1 fanatics have to query the lunatic spending that has gone on hitherto.

    Neither side (unfortunate that it has to be phrased in that way) has a viable alternative. With the heart of Formula 1 ripped out of the spectacle it would be unsaleable to the masses – but by the same token the ‘nine’ have not nearly enough time to arrange an alternative series – and the thought of two of them competing of is not pleasant

  28. Steven says:

    If it be the case that all the manufacturers pull out, who will be supplying the engines to these new teams who wish to enter the sport?

    Cosworth’s name has been mentioned as a supplier, but might there be a grid entirely of Cosworth engined cars?

  29. Elvis says:

    I think the Pitpass concerns may be prevalent here – for a legally binding contract to exist, there must be consensus ad idem, or, a meeting of minds.

    You cannot enter a contract adding on conditions – that is a counter-offer rather than and acceptance and it appears to me that no contract exists at the moment.

    If the teams believe that they have entered into a contract, they have to be sure what that contract is – the contract is the actual agreement that they have entered into and not the agreement they THINK they have formed.

  30. Could it not be that Ferrari are actually working with the FIA, steering all the other teams to walk away from F1, start there own championship away from F1.

    Then Ferrari would turn around and say that they are bound by contract to race in F1, and then be left with a field of new teams plus Williams and Renault to race against.

    Which would then put Ferrari back at the top, and winners again lol..

  31. JEFF says:

    there has been a concorde agreement fr many many years, and never was it the case that teams were automatically entered for the following years championship without applying…williams even missed the deadline once and had to beg to be allowed back in…they were fully signed up to the concorde agreement too.
    and if the fia says that ferrari have a contract, then it works both ways…ferrari would be within their rights to say we sign up, but to the 2009 regs, as we do not agree with the new ones. cant have your cake and eat it

  32. phil says:

    If the FIA cares about the sport, the members and the viewers they will take on the teams conditions and proceed with the championship as the nine teams have asked for.
    At the moment only 1 team in the current season has entered f1, which is supported by a manufacture. Of all these new teams, what guarantee is there they will be in the sport for 3 or more seasons. What engines will they run. Are we going to have a championship called f1 cosworth series. Are any of these teams even equipped to compete in f1. We know what all the existing teams have, and they are all well established and supported. They are offering a guarantee of racing for the next 3 years in addition to cost cutting agreements they can manage and enforce. This is not only supported by manufactures teams but private teams.
    If max doesn’t agree I hope all the teams start another championship. It will be to the benefit of everybody except the FIA, Bernie and the owners. They know the importance of the existing teams staying in f1 and they have already established a relationship with the viewing public, sponsors, media etc etc. If they leave, the damage to f1 in the first year will be so enormous I would bet there would be legal grounds for the owners of f1, to sue Bernie and the FIA, in addition to every track, media outlet etc etc suing Bernie for breach of contract. A new series can start, without the FIA, the teams own the new series, they keep all the revenues, all the tracks will sign up at reasonable prices, allowing track prices to be reasonable for the fans. I bet a rival championship with the current 10 teams (assuming Williams follows) Would be worth in excess of 1billion in the first year. Management costs would be 10%, that would leave 900million to be divided amongst the competing teams. Sponsors will follow the teams not the name f1. F1 is worthless if the manufactures and established teams aren’t competing within it. I watch f1 for Ferrari, McLaren, Alonso, Lewis not for the name f1. That is what the FIA is forgetting.

  33. ro says:

    ah, yet another f1 storm in a teacup…

    to be honest, i don’t think the main issue facing f1 at the mo’ is the current max / bernie vs mostly-everyone-else saga, it’s the realization that if your car isn’t winning after the first half dozen races, it makes a great deal of sense to basically give up and throw all your efforts into next years model. it that what we want?

    significant in-season testing HAS to return, together with rules which facilitate car development during the racing season, or else we may just as well watch the pre-season testing and award the championship on that basis.

    were i any one of the grossly under-performing teams i’d have written off 2009 and be beavering away on my 2010 model – assuming that i could tell which regulations will apply…

  34. Alex M says:

    In Poker terms, both sides hove now gone “All in” …either [Mosley] gets to run a joke of a series in 2010 with a reluctant Ferrari, Williams and some irrelevant newbies, while the real F1 teams run GP1….or he backs down, lets in all the FOTA teams and retires to his dungeon. No matter how thick his hide, Moseley cannot survive this scenario with one nanogram of professional integrity and I cannot see Bernie, the Sponsors & the TV companies allowing a joke series to run in 2010.

    Sometimes, beyond all the slanted twisted lies from the FIA, you really can see the reality. Now Max has walked a plank of his own making, the Sharks are circling and someone has hidden all the lifebelts. Oh dear, bye bye Max.

  35. Phil Bishop says:

    James

    have FOTA responded to the claim that a conditional entry is invalid?

    Cheers

    Phil

  36. Caanan says:

    Geez, so now March wants back in??? Think Max is lining up these teams to fill in for the teams that will be leaving??

    8 teams out (Ferrari in due to contract)….

    8 teams in….

    Prodrive
    Lola
    Team Superfund
    Team US F1
    Litespeed
    Epsilon Euskadi
    Campos Meta1
    March

    Don’t do it Mad Max!!

  37. iceman says:

    James, do you have any information about the veracity (or otherwise) of the rumours about March’s entry? I haven’t seen anything on the official F1 web site or any comment from the FIA about March. Everyone seems to be taking it as read that they (a) exist and (b) have made an entry – but as far as I can tell it’s all just repetitions of a story that appeared on one particular F1 web site, a web site that I don’t generally regard as a particularly reliable source. Does the March F1 team really exist?

  38. Soeren says:

    Most people say FOTA has lobbed the ball in Max’s or the FIA’s court, but I think it’s rather up to Mr Ecclestone now to get everyone to act reasonably. Basically, what FOTA are doing is telling Bernie: ‘Look, if you want your precious and profitable little racing series to remain just that instead of becoming just another single-seater formula and seeing all the sponsors leave and the value of F1 drop big time, then you’d better be prepared to (via a new Concorde Agreement) a) pay us more, b) give us more influence over the rules and more stability, c) get rid of Max, and d) see to it that Max lets us race the new teams next year, preferably under conditions agreed by FOTA among ourselves’. Bernie (or make that CVC) is the one who stands to lose most if Max pushes through his vision and effectively destroys the legend that is F1.

    Max, I’m sure, is prepared to proceed to kill the patient if that’s what’s necessary to get rid of the ailment. And Ferrari and a handful of other teams are probably prepared to leave F1 for the time being, albeit with a lot of huffing and puffing, but even Max should fear CVC’s lawyers sueing him for needlessly and carelessly devalueing their product.

    CVC should be massively interested in getting this sorted quickly, before they they find themselves and the FIA in front of an EU court, sued by a consortium of F1 teams (excluding Ferrari, of course) for agreeing unsporting deals favouring Ferrari, just as an example.

  39. MichaelC says:

    A very interesting read and one that confirms what I had suspected once the facts behind the ‘nine’ signing up for 2010 emerged.
    If I were one of the ‘eight’ non-Ferrari teams I would be quite worried about what may happen on June 12th. Ferrari in a sense can’t loose as they are under contract to race in 2010 and for that reason shouldn’t be acting as the leading voice on this. Also with Toyota having reported such large losses recently how can they promise to be in F1 next year (I suspect a repeat of Honda), let alone beyond that. McLaren & Mercedes have been trying to find a compromise and I doubt they will be slow to cut their losses if or when it becomes apparent they might miss out on racing in F1 next season. I can see tears before bedtime before this has been resolved.
    Some have mentioned FOTA setting up a ‘breakaway’ series but I doubt that this can be in place for 2010. So it will be the fans who look set to be the big losers.

  40. ade says:

    Have you followed F1 at all in the last 50 or so years?

  41. nick says:

    Racing has become so boring over the past few years that the off-track power plays are the most interesting thing about f1. Micky mouse tyre and engine rules have seriously dulled the competitive edge that used to symbolize f1.
    This proposed budget cap will just dull it further and turn the series into what ferrari term ‘formula gp3′.

  42. Frenchie says:

    Well, Brawn, and McLaren could go and join Ferrari and renault in GP1 which would also conveniently include QPR’s Bernie (‘mean he’s a friend no?).

    GP1 would go racing in Silverstone, Imola, Mexico, Korea, Fuji, etc.

    F1 would carry on as usual.

    The winner will be NASCAR who’ll star competing in European venues.

  43. Kevin says:

    Every village has one

  44. rpaco says:

    It’s not just Ferrari being big headed, there are all sorts of considerations behind the scenes. If Ferrari accepted a budget cap they would have to break a contract with Marlborough.

    Then there are the issues of how the rules have been autonomously changed by Max, whom we suspect of having been poked with a sharp stick by Bernie to save him (Bernie) a LOT of money.
    There is the issue of the tv and rights money distribution which is currently uneven to say the least. The transport and points money to re-negotiate.
    There is the income from venue fees, advertising fees which Bernie has split off into separate companies; no doubt the teams are keen to get a share of all that too. You may remember that all the rights were owned by the teams until Bernie gave up his racing and manipulated all the rights for himself. Now if a budget cap comes in Bernie will say that the team need less money from him. Some have not forgiven him for taking what once belonged to all of them and making himself very rich on their backs. [mod]
    The technical freedom should be allowed to all, the KERS being used on all 4 wheels alone will require substantial development budgets, as will the movable rear wing and now independently movable front flaps. We shall move into the logical step of aero assisted cornering and braking; but that could take several years to perfect.

  45. Richard Mee says:

    I am interested in your view as it is the polar opposite of mine – why do you equate FOTA’s unwillingness to roll over as them stubbournly trying to block the FIA – it seems to me that they have a reasonably cohesive cost reduction pathway set out – it is unlikely they will be spending current sums in 2011.
    truth is I’m interested why you think the current dictatorship of the moneymen is so acceptable?

    Richard

  46. John Kilmartin says:

    The premise of your argument is that Max Mosley considers himself greater than F1.

    Clearly if this is proven by his actions then why should the teams feel that F1 is worthy of their participation.

    You also fail to see what the teams have offered which is stability, a condition that Max until Friday at least, asserted was of upmost importance.

    What the teams want is to wrest back some self determination. There was a time when F1 was the teams. Now it is two whimsical old men. The balance needs to be redressed.

    The teams have concurred with every demand that Max has made just in a manner that is not so radical as to change the face of the sport overnight.

    If Max is the hypocritical megalomaniac that is often suggested he will play expensive games. The price might be F1 or if sense is seen it might be his head.

    He could on the other hand let common sense prevail.

  47. James Allen says:

    Who is this addressed to, Richard?

  48. MartinWR says:

    If Richard refers to my mailing, the following points lead me to my conclusions.

    !) The “money men” own F1. I must emphasise that I find that abhorrent and I find all that flows from it abhorrent. But there is nothing in the world I or anyone else for that matter can do to change it. I suppose governments could nationalise F1, but I suspect that would make things a million times worse.

    2) As F1 can’t be delivered from the “money men” a breakaway series could certainly be started. However the US experience suggests that would be counter-productive. It would probably take a while to set up as well. The jury is out on this but personally I feel that it might be a disaster, as in the States. Anyway F1 would still probably always be there anyway, and the F1 tag will always be the iconic one.

    3) Leaving aside Ferrari, which is a special case, the car manufacturers have brought hugely, unnecessarily, inflated budgets to F1. There is now, apparently, worldwide capacity for 95 million car and truck units. Worldwide demand currently is for 55 million units. This is probably the reason Max Mosley concluded that the current level of spending is unsustainable in the future, and I see the logic. Hence the cap. Because of the recession big new funding is also hard to come by from other sources. But it simply is not necessary anyway for exciting racing with innovatively designed cars.

    4) FOTA have had every chance to come up with an alternative set of rules and have failed. they have failed because their interests are simply irreconcilable. Hence somebody else needs to set the rules. If that could be done with FOTA’s agreement wonderful, but time is running out, and it has not been possible so far.

    5) FOTA’s proposals are currently framed from an entirely negative and political staring point, which is the desire to get rid of Mosley. This petty, disgusting, mindless, politicking doesn’t offer a positive way forward.

    6) I think the cap is going to bring new teams in, I like that. F1 is getting fossilised. The rise of Brawn, though not truly a completely new team, has been a breath of fresh air.

    7) I see no sign whatsoever that FOTA can cut costs. Cost cutting is not in Ferrari’s interest so it seems, and they are leading FOTA’s charge.

    8) I like the idea of more cars on the track. More cars probably will make it more interesting.

    I could go on but these are just some of the reasons I have for what I wrote previously.

  49. Richard Mee says:

    Hey James,

    It’s addressed to MartinWR…

  50. Dans says:

    They missed their chance to veto when the rules were announced.

  51. Alex M says:

    The Times, amongst others, are intimidated by Max’s malevolent use of his power, journalists who do not toe the FIA party line, or ask too many awkward questions get stabbed in the back.

    Do you remember Martin Brundle and the pressure put on the BBC a few months ago not to employ him because he used the words “Witch Hunt” to describe the FIA/Moseley Witch Hunt against McLaren. They also tried to sue him in court for that, laughable, when it was so obviously true…..

  52. rpaco says:

    NASCAR, is that the one where they just drive in circles and occasionally crash? (As per all US films if a car crashes, it is the duty of all behind to drive at full speed straight into the wreckage) The one where there is no data about lap times, gaps etc?

  53. mm says:

    Mine too!

    I say again, get rid of the culprits!

    Give F1 back to those working the hardest, spending the most time, energy and money. That must surely be the FOTA (+ Williams) teams and providers/owners of circuits!

    Then decrease fees substantially at all circuits and you’ll see attendance ballooning – advertising booming – with profitable returns for each of the investors, whether with low or high budget.

  54. Frenchie says:

    Dear The Conspiracist,

    I love your twisted mind. You always make up soem some great addition to James’s blog.

    I’d love to see more of your theories.

  55. iceman says:

    A horrifying theory, all the more so because it has a grain of plausibility in it.

  56. iceman says:

    Yes you’d think they would be in a similar position to Williams wouldn’t you. I wonder if they are taking a stand on a point of principle, that unity between the teams is more important in the long term than their budget next season.

  57. James Allen says:

    James, I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that one. Suggest you speak to the organisers at the Plymouth end of things. If I hear anything I’ll post it.

  58. phil c says:

    An none of the new teams have enough funding behind them to last more then one season, and most probably cannot commit for 3 full season like the rest of them.

    [mod]

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