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My old team – back in F1!
Posted By:   |  04 Jun 2009   |  9:00 am GMT  |  0 comments

I’ve just been sent a press release from a German company, which owns the remnants of the Super Aguri team and also the Brabham brand. They have announced that they have entered next year’s world championship as Brabham.
Picture 8

This is a very strong deja vu for me. I started my professional career in Formula 1 in 1990 with the Brabham team. I was the team’s press officer for two seasons. Our drivers in 1990 were David Brabham and Stefano Modena, the team principal was Herbie Blash (now on the FIA race direction team with Charlie Whiting) and it was owned by a Japanese company, Middlebridge, who had bought the name after a very complicated transaction.

Middlebridge rather underestimated what F1 cost. They found to their horror that it was around £1 million a month. They weren’t very good at finding sponsors, but they did get a deal with Yamaha for engines for 1991. They also hired Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell, so that’s where my relationship with those two began. Brabham fizzled out in 1994.

So what about this new Brabham team? Well it is based on the old Super Aguri team in Leafield, as I said. The technical director is Mark Preston, a very talented Aussie, who used to work at McLaren. He was the brains behind Super Aguri. Of course that team used year old Hondas with Honda engines, so building their own car from scratch will be interesting, but I would say that Mark is definitely one of the more credible engineers out there working with new teams.

Mark Preston

Mark Preston


The boss is a guy called Franz Hilmer, whom I have not encountered before but he’s made his fortune in the machining and parts industry with a company called Formtech and has an F3 Euroseries team. As I say, I don’t know much about him. The press release says that the team has attracted investors and sponsors which cover 75% of the available space on the car, which is far better than Super Aguri ever did, if it’s true, and these sponsors are “prepared to free the money subject to the positive decision of the FIA to the new entry of Brabham Grand Prix as a cost cap team as of June 12th.”

Brabham’s press release says that the team is “convinced that the budget cap is a contemporary obligation and will effect a revitalisation of the Formula One World Championship.”

With the news that the grid is theoretically full without the FOTA teams, this is all starting to look like a real page turner of a moment. Of course many of the new applicants will not survive the due dilligence test the FIA is carrying out at the moment. The last thing F1 needs is a return to the days of F1 teams failing mid-season and going bust. The whole point of budget caps was to maintain strong healthy grids.

The nine FOTA teams have served F1 for many years, invested billions to go racing and been ‘the show’. You could argue that they have taken the benefit of F1′s huge global reach to their brands and their sponsors brands along the way and no-one owes them anything more. The FIA owns F1 and is offering them the chance to continue in the sport, but on revised terms and they aren’t happy with that.

The FOTA nine were not happy with the show, with their share of the revenues from participation, nor with the way the rules were being made, so they took a stand and now we have 8 days in which it will be decided if F1 can simply wash its hands of the teams we have come to know of late, like BMW Sauber, Toyota and Red Bull and embrace a raft of new teams, more in the spirit of the way racing was in the 1970s to 1990s, before the manufacturers came in and corporatised everything.

Ferrari have been the strongest on the FOTA side and to capitulate from here would be a hell of a climb down for them. But the FIA is certain that Ferrari is legally, contractually bound to race in 2010, as Williams is. Ferrari has to hold the FOTA coalition together over these eight days or the game will be totally lost.

I can see Brawn and Force India jumping ship and joining in the new F1, because they have everything to gain from that and given how close Dietrich Mateschitz is to Max Mosley, I can see him keeping Red Bull in F1 and perhaps selling Toro Rosso to one of the new entrants. McLaren will be very interesting. They have a lot to gain from staying in F1 and negotiating a special deal with FOM for revenue share based on their history, as Williams and Ferrari have done in the past. At the end of the day, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams are the three teams who provide a spine for F1, all the other teams have come and gone around them.

The point surely is that these new teams will be much easier for Max and Bernie to manage than a bunch of bolshie manufacturers. This moment has been coming ever since the manufacturers threatened a breakaway series in 2004. If neither side backs down then there is going to be one hell of a game of musical chairs next week.

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  1. Rob says:

    I dont think Ferrari can be held to their contract.

    I think legally it would be declared unenforceable as the sport Max wants them to take part in no longer materially represents the sport to which they signed up. Similar to a contract of employment which would not be enforceable if your employer materially and detrimentally changed your working condtitions – even if those working conditions were not part of the original contract.

    Also if the FIA/Bernie were to take Ferrari to court they would have to make a legal ruling on the Veto as well. Ferrari would argue that the FIA/Bernie have already broken the contract by denying them rights guaranteed within it.

    You must remeber that the WMSC turned down Ferrari’s attempt at an injunction but only on the basis that contractual maters are not in their jurisdiction – they must be decided in a court of law – exactly where they would end up if FIA/Bernie sued Ferrari for breach of contract.

    I say FOTA go and set up your own championship with Silverstone, France, Rome, Indy, Canada, Australia (who would be happy not to have to have a night race), Austria. All of these circuits have lost their F1 race already so have nothing to lose by signing up with FOTA for significantly lower fees…

  2. Steve (Stig) says:

    So if Ferrari do decide to walk – what do you reckon would be the estimated cost to them to break the contract already in place?

    It just interests me as I fear the other teams have been suckered in to an arrangement with a team who already knew that if and when the brown stuff hit the air conditioner – they still had options whereas the other teams were at the mercy of the selection commitee

  3. Duds says:

    Didn’t Brabham disappear from F1 in 1992? Or did the team survive as an entity for another 2 years? Did they do anything?

    On another note, the FIA have 22 cars now without FOTA. Do we think they all “Exist” or is it just a device to allow the FOTA bluff to be called?

  4. talkingfuture says:

    Are there enough new teams to run a second championship now? Not ideal, but perhaps a solution would be to replace GP2 with Cost cap F1, race on the same weekends and maybe provide some sort of bridge for teams to be promoted/demoted between them.

    Just an idea….

  5. Sam says:

    I was always on the side of the big teams, but this whole FOTA business has firmly driven me into the FIA side of things. It has helped that there has been a strong interest from a large number of independent parties in joining F1!

    To be honest, I would quite like to see a big change in the grid for next year and will happily wave bye bye to the likes of Toyota, BMW and co.

  6. rob says:

    Didn’t the Brabham team fizzle out in 1992? I dont recall them being around in 1993 or 1994! Yet another “paper tiger” though methinks…

  7. jw1980 says:

    Very good article James, one of the best so far. It would appear to be incredible how this seems to be falling in to place for Max and Bernie. As long as Ferrari are on board they have won.
    2007 was a great season but only two teams won races:- McLaren and Ferrari. Like most sports there is only enough room for one or two winners. Like you say as long as the spine is there F1 will survive. I would also add Brawn and Red Bull if they continue to that spine.
    Brabham have won two world championsips in the past and a number of races. How many have Toyota and BMW won as constructors in their own right?
    In the 1980s there was more manufacturer support in Le Mans and rallying however F1 was still the most popular form of motorsport. It’s the drivers that most people are interested in.
    As a final point you would have got very long odds on Brabham ever coming back in to the championsip?

  8. Suzy says:

    You are right that the spine of F1 are Ferrari, McLaren and Williams (in this order), the other factory teams are, with all due respect, not so important. They can easily be replaced by names like Brabham or BrawnGP.

    Williams are with the FIA, McLaren are on the fence and Ferrari are with the FOTA. (Officially McLaren too are with the FOTA but from their comments to me they seem to be on the fence.)

    Williams is a traditional name like McLaren however they haven’t shone in the past 10 years, so I’m not sure how important they are right now.

    So that leaves Ferrari and McLaren. The most important thing will be what they do – especially Ferrari. I am not sure the FIA can feel safe about Ferrari because of their contract. Nobody, be it a driver or a team, can be forced to race. The question is how costly it would be for Ferrari to leave F1.

    It’s also important how the star drivers decide. Alonso said two weeks ago that for him F1 wouldn’t be F1 without the manufacturers, so he could leave if manufacturers leave. Kimi and Felipe too.
    Lewis will obviously stay with McLaren wherever they go.

    While drivers aren’t irreplacable either and on a long term they come and go, but most F1 fans are interested in their star drivers. Imagine the loss for FIA’s F1 if just three of the most popular drivers – Kimi, Fernando and Felipe – leave and decide to race elsewhere. Bernie can eat his two Spanish GPs then, for example.

  9. john g says:

    Williams
    Prodrive (Aston Martin)
    Litespeed
    Lola
    USF1
    Campos Meta 1
    Superfund
    March
    Formtech/Brabham
    N. Technology
    Wirth Research
    Epsilon Euskadi
    all running cosworth engines

    No Raikonnen, Massa, Hamilton, Vettel, Button, Kubica, Alonso…

    Max’s eyes popping out of his head on an insane powertrip…

    bernie taking his no-brand circus out to the middle east, India and Russia

    Is this the F1 that anyone wants to watch?

  10. monktonnik says:

    “Middlebridge rather underestimated what F1 cost. They found to their horror that it was around £1 million a month.”

    Oh how times have changed!

    James do really think that we are about to see a mass exodus from the current teams. I know it is difficult to call, but I still don’t believe this will really happed. I think it is more a case of who blinks first.

    Personally I am looking forward to seeing a few new teams, and if that includes Brabham (as ex-Super Aguri) then it would be great. Super Aguri showed real spirit, and it would be great to see them again.

    If there is a break away series I hope the race on alternate Sundays from F1 as I would probably watch both.

  11. Dennis Dithmar says:

    Congratulations James. That sounds just fantastic. And given their past, Bernie will probably pull more than a few strings to get them on the grid.

    I would really like to see the same happen for Lotus some day.

    But under no circumstances under the current governance.

    Just the fact that I’m able to write “Bernie will probably pull more than a few strings…” tells a lot about how F1 is run today. Because we all know, that Max’s and Bernie’s personal affections are more likely to succeed. And that is a huge sign of something very unhealthy going on.

    I still can’t get to grips with the fact, that the same two guys, that work tiredlesly to get Renault, Toyota, BMW and Honda into Formula One, are now more or less throwing them out again. And only a year ago, Max told Sir Frank, that there aren’t room for teams like Williams in F1 anymore. Now suddenly there is room for Williams but not hte other nine teams. He told BBC last year that it would be impossible to operate a budget cap in F1. And suddenly it’s possible if it is audited by FIA people. And then again after some weeks, it will probably be external auditers.

    That is not a way to govern the FIA. I would be furious in a national or regional series if it was run as dictatorial and amateurish as that. And this is a world motorsport governing body we are talking about. There are massive corporations involved and a waste amount of people who has to be fired in the end of all this. And in this weird world of Formula One, they don’t lay off 500-1500 because of the crisis. They will have to lay off many many more – because Max has seen the light…

    James I am really really worried. Happy for you about Brabham – but is it really the right way this is happening? And how long will it take before March, Lola or Brabham, in the new era F1, get’s to feel the loving touch of a public spanking the Mosley way? I give them two-three seasons tops. Then everything is just as bad or worse as it is now.

  12. Alex M says:

    I really hope they do not, I wish nothing but bad luck to any of these ‘newcomers’ who are greedy people trying to get into F1 by being on Max’s side against the existing teams.

    It is so clear that Max’s autocratic and caustic ‘leadership’ is causing nothing but harm, I am amazed anybody is bothering to talk about these worthless leeches.

    The budget cap is not needed in Football, why does F1 need it ? Could it all just be a stick for Max to beat McLaren and Ferrari with, divide and conquer, keep on taking 50% from the sport for running it so badly ?

  13. PaulL says:

    I feel that one of the best things about F1 has been that it has been a survival of the fittest. Reviving these old names without them reflecting the DNA of what really characterised those teams in the past is to me fraudulent.

    All this budget cap and new teams being accommodated, it’s really selling out on F1 being a true competitive environment in my view.

  14. Anthony says:

    The situation seems to be getting worse by the day, instead of the two sides finding more and more common ground they are getting closer to a split. Surely even mad Max knows that would be a disaster. What is needed is some sort of independent mediator who can knock some sense into the waring factions, otherwise we the fans will be the losers. The trouble is Max Mosley thinks now he has beaten Ron Dennis into the ground he is invincible, and is happy to take on all comers to prove the point.
    I bet right now Ferrari bitterly regret forcing the FIA to act against McLaren as they did in the spy saga, as they have lost what would have been a valuable ally in their fight with the FIA.
    Somebody please issue all concerned a large dose of sensible pills.

  15. Neal says:

    The interesting thing for me will be if the rules change to deal with less competitive teams.

    Will they bring in a 110% rule equivalent (but how will that work with the current qualy format ?), or perhaps the first session will be pre-qualifying.

    At the moment there are no “danger men” on the grid. A few years back I remember some of the pay-to-drive pilots were a danger to the people lapping them. I can see a handful turning up on the grid next year and making championship affecting mistakes (if indeed there are still top teams to lap them).

  16. Steve says:

    Will you be reapplying for your old job James??!!

  17. Ian Abrahams says:

    I know it’s seen as being current 10 + 3 but is it realistic that the FIA, assuming the current teams wise up and come on-board, could expand to 14 teams? That would possibly allow 5 new teams in, if one acquires Toro Rosso (is this perhaps the plan when Wurz talks about working alongside a current constructor?).

    The current teams are going to have to fall in line, surely? The boards of the car manufacturers are battling to justify the expense of F1, surely nobody in the board room is going to sign-off on the expense and risk of setting up a rival series?

  18. trev smith says:

    Not sure about other people but I am sick of this situation. The whole situation is being driven by insane ego’s and greed. The FIA is a discredited organisation whilst Mosley is there. He does not seem to understand that you just cant switch off £100m’s organisations, its ridiculous.

    I dont actually think cost reduction was the plan, he just wants the manufacturer’s out. He was losing control. Ecclestone see’s it as a chance to make more money by paying less to the teams.

    The whole situation could be a Shakespeare plot. Idiots all of them

  19. Aaron James says:

    Has anyone asked Sir Jack Brabham and his family holdings what their thoughts are about this? Are they on-board, and if they aren’t, will they take action against this entry?

  20. Brian says:

    ” … more in the spirit of the way racing was in the 1970s to 1990s, before the manufacturers came in and corporatised everything.”

    Oh yes please!

  21. badmoles says:

    A return to the 70′s and 80′s before the manufacturers “corporatised” F1?

    Oh yes please! Bring it on!

  22. mm says:

    James, please help:

    I thought all applications had to be in by midnight last Friday. How come all these revelations now of new teams applying?

    Or is Max trying to win a poker game hiding four cards ranked 1? Methinks he’s facing a straight flush starting with an Ace!

  23. Barry says:

    If next years grid was full of new teams and the FOTA nine were excluded it would be a joke to call the sport F1. At this rate we’ll have a GP2 like series running as F1, and the old F1 running a new series devised by FOTA with some GP2 style name. It wouldn’t take long for the TV companies to see out their contracts and leave Bernie and Max deep in the brown stuff as far as TV money is concerned.

    Moseley seems determined to ruin F1 before he goes, I just do not understand why Bernie is allowing him to do it.

  24. Andy says:

    I think the FIA is in a very strong position! For an average fan do they care what teams are in F1, they will continue watching the show no matter what.

  25. Saul M says:

    Indeed James, this is pivotal and looks – if one were a conspiracy theorist – that the big corporations have a perfect reason to leave the sport quietly…I think this ‘power struggle’ has harmed the sport to a degree but those of us who are purists and enjoy the racing will believe this might actually be a good thing for the sport….How can Bernie not be behind this?

  26. Ged says:

    I’m not you should be getting sentimental James about a company that is trying to hijack the Brabham heritage. Quite the opposite in fact.

    I can’t see anything posted on their site but I’d be very surprised if a denial or disassociation from the Brabham Family Estate wasn’t announced regarding Formtech.

    Here is the most recent posting from their site, it’s from last year but relevant to today:

    http://www.jackbrabham.com/news_detail.html?NEWSID=102755

    I’ve been following F1 somewhat religiously since 1992 when I was 15 & it’s got to the point now that I hope to see the whole thing implode. I’d rather the Fota 9 walked away & sat out next season whilst awaiting the FIA/FOM to concede or put things in place for their own series the year after than watch them give in to Max now. The rules for next season allow the FIA to make discretionary changes at will at any point, it’s ridiculous.

    Originally Max was stating that new teams were needed because he feared they wouldn’t have enough teams on the grid by the end of this season & now that they’ve agreed to commit to 2012, suddenly that’s not the issue. Of course it’s not, it never was, I like many others here have been saying from the start (& to your credit you allude to it at the end of this piece) but this is all not about keeping the old teams in, but getting new “weaker more influence-able teams” on board with FIA/FOM.

    James, I appreciate you get a lot of direct questions but you’ve not yet answered one of mine, so I’ll ask this:

    Why has not one media outlet/reported put this directly to Max/the FIA? Is everybody to afraid to challenge them on this point? Are the accredited passes to privileged to gamble?

    Ok that’s a few questions but I think you get the point.

  27. GP says:

    “Talented Aussie” all you want James, the fact that a couple of unkowns decide to use the name Brabham is disgraceful. I hope this is not indicative of these news teams coming into F1 trying to ride the coatails of famous teams.

    I was very happy to read elsewhere that the Brabham family is seeking legal advice.

    You have to wonder about individuals who are perfectly willing to use and exploit, without consent, a famous name.

    Actually, I think I’m going to start my own team and call it Ferrari since, according to Max, they won’t be racing HIS championship next year!

  28. MichelinMan says:

    Driving out the manufacturers will not trouble Max. He won’t blink all the way to June 12.

    Would Superfund-Cosworth, Lola-Cosworth, USF1-Supertec(?) and the like be a credible F1 grid though?

    That’s 70s F1, but this is 2009 and you cannot unlearn what you know: F1 is the state of the art and today that’s Ferrari, McLaren, BMW, Renault, Brawn, Red Bull etc. Not Cosworth. They had their day.

    I don’t think Max cares though. He is not that sympathetic to motorsport anyway.
    Motorsport gives him a chance to hold a high office in line with his personal ambitions. It’s nothing to do with serving motorsport, rather the other way round.

    Perhaps when next years turnover is catastrophically lower than the present circa £2bn it may force everyone’s hand who has a stake in F1. But Max has no stake in this whatsoever, fundamentally doesn’t care about F1. And his legacy is assured and will only grow as a formidable president.

  29. Mike W says:

    I do not have the writing capacity to say how p**d off I am feeling just now.
    [mod]
    James as you mention how can the teams who have poured billion in F1 not be considered to have some right to this discussion.
    Max as a failed business man must have no idea about the effect of cutting 4/5th of your budget as soon as the season end.
    As this is so comical I will end with Bugs Bunny’s take on Max…”what a maroon”

    Love your blog.

  30. Kenny Carwash says:

    I think you might be on the money with Red Bull, James. According to one of Superfund’s press releases they have “signed a provisional agreement with an existing F1 team to use and leverage their staff, facilities and infrastructure.” Surely that can only be Toro Rosso? The only alternative is that an existing team already has one foot out the door.

    I fully expect FOTA to implode next week, once another team leaves the whole house of cards will come crashing down. I’d bet on McLaren being the next to jump ship, followed closely by Force India, Brawn, Red Bull and Toro Rosso. BMW might sign up if they feel they can still use F1 as a technical showcase under the new regulations, Toyota and Renault Will almost certainly take the opportunity to bow out of the sport to concentrate on their core business. That leaves Ferrari, standing alone. This time they’ll have to either climb down from their high horse or ride off on it.

  31. SkinBintin says:

    Well, I really hope McLaren and Ferrari hang around. It just won’t be the same without them. I also hope, if the manufacturer teams take the leap and quit, that most of the talented drivers find new teams to join, because that would be the most dissapointing part for me.

    Great artice James, as always.

  32. Jon says:

    It’s not Brabham.

    “Sir Jack Brabham and the Brabham family have expressed their surprise at the recent news reporting that an entry has been submitted for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship by Formtech with the intention of operating as Brabham Grand Prix Limited.

    “The family would like to make it clear that they are in no way involved with Brabham Grand Prix Limited and received no consultation regarding the company’s plans to resurrect their historic name in Formula One.

    “The family is taking legal advice and will take necessary steps to protect their name, reputation and its goodwill.”

  33. James Allen says:

    I don’t know. It’s a very interesting situation, but I do think it will be very very difficult for any of these teams to make it work. To build an f1 car from scratch is extremely tough and to build a competitive one is virtually impossible. The existing teams are all extremely competent, look how close the field is! Personally I would be surprised if many of these new teams get it together, but we will see

  34. Kevin Baines says:

    I haven’t had time to read all the comments above so i don’t know if my point has already been made, but this whole thing sounds like along term plan of the FIA to me. I think that they don’t won’t the big Money teams and constructors like Renault toyota bmw etc due to the fact that they want more money and are very strong in what they want from the sport and don’t want. To me its like this, The FIA have used the car companies and the brands, profiles and money to help make the sport bigger and more glamourous show than ever and now they wish to return to the private teams before the big money guys take over. So Max wanted them to use cosworth standard engines and when you look at the entry list of new teams, thats exactly what they are doing. Its all seems a well thought out plan to me and seems somewhat familier to the electronic and drivers aids row and eventual banning back in the early 90′s where Max pushed the teams into the new rules whether they liked it or not.

  35. Vic says:

    The Brabham family is, indeed, looking into taking legal action.

  36. Dave P says:

    James, there’s an old adage… ‘ you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’…. If Ferrari were forced to enter for legal reasons to F1.. it doesn’t mean they can’t enter two series… F1 were they would just make a mockery of the series by not trying, etc, yet compete in a new breakaway series with everyone else…

    But what a mess though…. I think initially game set and match to the FIA, unless a breakaway is formed….. then the manufacturers would make the FIA squirm….

    It would only take a few drop outs during the season in Max’s F1, and a complete disparity in performance before it would look like a joke…

    on the other hand… my head hurts!

  37. Alan says:

    Can a Schumacher come back help Ferrari? Yes I bet!

  38. Henry says:

    Well, the BBC is also saying:
    “The company is not associated with the Brabham team that won two F1 drivers’ and four constructors’ championships between 1962 and 1992.
    Mr Hilmer said he simply held the rights to the name, which he chose to reflect a historic racing family.
    The family of three-time world champion Sir Jack Brabham said they were “surprised” by the attempt to resurrect the name in Formula One as they had not been consulted.
    The family said they were now taking legal advice to protect their name and reputation.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/oxfordshire/8083720.stm

    So, unfortunately, not exactly your old team.

  39. Russell Unitt says:

    If there is a split, here is a possible scenario to ponder…

    2010 F-1 World Championship
    10 races – 11 teams of 2 cars (22 cars per race) – 110% qualifying applies

    Teams / Drivers
    Williams Cosworth – N Rosberg – B Senna
    Prodrive Cosworth – A Davison – J Verstappen
    Litespeed Cosworth – R Kerr – S Bourdais
    Lola Cosworth – N Piquet – R Grosjean
    USF1 Cosworth – M Andretti – G Rahal
    Campos Meta 1 Cosworth – E Mortara – S Hernandez
    Superfund Cosworth – G Fisichella – P de la Rosa
    March Cosworth – T Scheckter – J D’Ambrosio
    Brabham Cosworth – N Hulkenberg – N Tandy
    N. Technology Cosworth – T Nakajima – D Nakajima
    Wirth Research Cosworth – P Maldonado – R Doornbos

    Circuits
    Malaysia
    China
    Bahrain
    Monaco
    Turkey
    Hungary
    Spain (Valencia)
    Singapore
    Abu Dhabi

    2010 Premier World Championship
    10 races – 8 teams of 2 cars (16 cars per race)

    Teams / Drivers
    Ferrari – F Alonso / P Massa
    McLaren Mercedes – L Hamilton / H Kovalainen
    Red Bull Renault – S Vettel / M Webber
    Renault – K Raikonnen / S Beumi
    Brawn Mercedes – J Button / R Barrichello
    Sauber BMW – R Kubica / T Glock
    Force India Mercedes – J Trulli – A Sutil
    Minardi Ferrari – N Heidfeld / D Ricciardo

    Circuits
    Australia (Albert Park)
    Spain (Barcelona)
    Britain (Silverstone)
    France (Magny- Cours)
    Belgium (Spa)
    Germany (Nurburgring)
    Italy (Monza)
    Canada (Montreal)
    USA (Indianapolis)
    Brazil (Interlagos)

    Some notes on these scenarios:-
    1) Max and Bernie will be chasing recognisable F-1 names (already shown in provisional entries Brabham and March) and so will go after Senna, Andretti & Scheckter and probably (at best) retain FOTA team rejects Bourdais, Rosberg, Piquet and Nakajima. They will also grab as many of the top GP-2 drivers as they can get – Grosjean will be an obvious target.
    2) F-1 will have more cars but, even all with Cosworth engines, there will be a much greater differential in speed than we have become used to. The 110% qualifying rule will almost assuredly have to be re-introduced.
    3) With their experience and levels of technology, Williams should be hands-down the team to beat, challenged maybe by Prodrive and whoever buys the assets of Toro Rosso.
    4) Except for ‘The Jewel’ (Monaco) F-1 would be left with the marginal circuits. Nearly all the traditional circuits will fall behind Premier WC and why wouldn’t they? They get the best cars, best drivers and all at a far cheaper price than they’ve been offered for years. And best of all, they can tell Bernie to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.
    5) Premier WC will suffer from 2 problems – smaller number of cars and loss of Monaco. They will rely on the ‘new’ F-1 quickly self-destructing where the best of the survivors migrate across in 2011.
    6) In 2011 there will be a reconcilliation between the two championships negotiated by the new head of F-1 Jackie Stewart, whose appointment followed the shocking strangling-murder of Max Mosely by his old friend Bernie E.

  40. Accidental Mick says:

    @ Russell unitt

    Why do you rule out Monaco for the Premier division? As I understand it, Monaco is tyhe only place that Bernie has never managed to gain control over – he gets no income from it.
    What is to stop Monaco stageing a race for both series?

  41. Russell Unitt says:

    Looks like Force India has broken ranks and gone over to the ‘Dark Side’ – now with only 6 teams (plus my wishful thinking Minardi revival), their only option, in a breakaway series, would be to run 3 cars per team.

    Could be an opening for one M Schumacher to make a Ferrari comeback perhaps?

  42. John H says:

    Bernie, Max, FIA, Tilke, Stewarding, KERS, Donnelly.

    What do these things have in common? The fans have had enough with them. Let’s get behind FOTA and make this musical-chair breakaway a reality.

  43. Russell Unitt says:

    Fair point Mick, but I think F-1 might just be able to survive without Ferrari but without Monaco as well???

  44. James Allen says:

    Not at all, there is some way to go before it is decided what the entries will be and so on. The FIA is doing the due diligence now. Let’s let the list come out then we will have ample opportunity to ask the questions.

  45. James Allen says:

    They did. It’s just that the news is coming out now of who got entries in before the deadline. They had to have an engine agreement in place, but don’t pay the £300k entry fee until November

  46. Jakob says:

    So was it Brabham when Ecclestone ran it? The current owners bought Brahman fair and square just like Ecclestone did.

  47. Rich says:

    Big Names have come and gone before.
    Do you see Auto-Union out there? or Lotus or Mercedes or Tyrell or Aston or Bugatti or Cooper or Brabham or…. Maseratti or….???
    Do you? Huh? Huh?
    Nope, and if these FOTA turkeys aren’t there next season, I for one wont miss them one tiny bit.

  48. Suzy says:

    Kubica suggested two weeks ago that he would stay in F1. For him it’s not important how the team is called and if the series is budget capped. Alonso and Kimi on the other hand said they would leave if the manufacturers are out. So I think some drivers would decide for this series, some for the other.
    Both series would be weakend compared to the current F1, anyway.

  49. Suzy says:

    As a Schumacher fan I am dreaming a bit: what if Ferrari leaves F1 and goes to Le Mans instead? They take Kimi and Massa with them and perhaps even Alonso, if the rumours about a pre-contract or contract with him are true. Then they could also call back Michael, I think it wouldn’t be too hard to convince him to participate in that one event per year. And then there is also Badoer and Gené (the latter is taking part in long distance races even now). So Ferrari can easily have six drivers for two cars – and at least four of those drivers are real public magnets (Schumacher, Alonso, Kimi and Massa). I know it’s just a dream, but it would be interesting.

  50. Sasquatsch says:

    Apparently Hilmer bought the rights to use the name from the previous owners. If not, the Brabham family might have a case.

    It’s the same with March. Apparently the brand name wasd bought by Fitton after March went broke in 1993, although I read that Herd (one of the original founders) wanted to revive March in 1999, but failed to raise the money. So I am not sure who owns the name here.

  51. John H says:

    These are in most part brand new F1 teams. Who knows if they will actually make it to the grid at Melbourne… you might only see about 10 cars.

    I would love it if FOTA leave, set up their own series and Max and Bernie take their circus to the Middle East with no viewing public or heritage in F1.

    Mosley’s dictatorship is about to come crumbling down IMHO.

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