We are currently waiting for the FOTA dossier, which was promised last week, detailing all the ways in which F1 is going wrong under the current FIA administration. It now sounds like we might get two dossiers, the other from the FIA itself detailing its dealings with FOTA and what it describes as ‘hardliners’, looking to scupper the process.
It’s strange because you hear from both sides that there is a detailed process of meetings going on behind the scenes and yet above the surface the mudslinging is in full flow.
The FIA issued a statement on Monday morning saying that it felt progress was being made towards a solution of the 2010 entry crisis, which is threatening to rip the sport in two. Last week at a meeting, four team principals and FIA president Max Mosley discussed help for new teams, budget levels, governance and financial controls.
There is another meeting today with the finance people looking at ‘resource restriction.’ This is the new buzzword for the process by which spending is controlled. Manufacturers, especially Ferrari, find it impossible to contemplate a budget cap because of the way its internal resourcing is done with cross linking across the road and racing divisions.
However FOTA is proposing ‘resource restriction’ as a way of achieving the same result. It sounds like the two sides are not too far apart on money levels either. Another meeting is planned for this week to look at governance and the Concorde Agreement.
What is interesting about today’s FIA statement is that it accuses a faction within FOTA of being ‘handliners’, who are determined to sabotage any deal to solve the crisis. This is part of Mosley’s heavy artillery I wrote about last week. I’m hearing that it is Toyota and Renault who are in the cross hairs. The Renault president Carlos Ghosn is also the head of the European Manufacturers’ Association which got involved in the row last week, calling for the FIA to review its current administration.