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FOTA reeling as Ferrari and Red Bull pull out
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Darren Heath
Posted By: James Allen  |  02 Dec 2011   |  4:36 pm GMT  |  164 comments

The decision of two of the most powerful teams in F1, Ferrari and Red Bull, to quit the Formula One Teams Association over the ‘stalemate’ in the organisation, leaves questions about whether the institution will survive.

And if it does not, will F1 again descend into a spending arms race between a few wealthy teams?

FOTA was formed in September 2008 to represent the interests of the F1 teams in dealings with the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone’s organisation.

It was designed to prevent a repeat of what happened in 2005 when Ferrari broke ranks with the other manufacturers who were trying to stand up to FIA and Ecclestone, and did a deal on its own worth €100 million to sign the Concorde Agreement.

Ferrari president Montezemolo, who cut that deal, was ironically one of the key founders of the FOTA movement. There have been rumours that Ferrari might have done a similar deal here but these were denied by a Ferrari source.

Nevertheless the way is open for Ecclestine and CVC to pick both teams off now with a golden hello payment to commit to F1 beyond 2012. This would leave the others in a weak position.

It is interesting that the two teams have left at the same time, although Ferrari claims it was on the move first, citing lack of trust (with Red Bull’s spending) and paralysis at FOTA in terms of dealing with it.

Montezemolo has recently expressed concern about the direction the sport is headed in and the company blamed a ‘stalemate’ within FOTA as its reason for leaving. Ferrari feels FOTA has run its course and a new impulse is needed.

There is a lack of trust within FOTA which has spurred this decision, but it’s important to remember that the RRA is a legally binding agreement which runs to 2017, so it is not as if Ferrari and Red Bull will be able to spend £100 million a year more. Meanwhile the testing agreement also involves the FIA, so this won’t change overnight.

However with a new Concorde Agreement due to to be discussed and come into force in 2013, the separation of Ferrari in particular at this stage will weaken the teams’ negotiating position.

It will greatly disappoint the other teams, particularly Mercedes and McLaren, and will lead to calls of “I told you so” from sceptics within and without F1, who thought that an alliance of teams was a waste of time.

FOTA has achieved some useful things in its time, mostly on the cost savings side; like the original Resource Restriction Agreement in 2008, the cutting back of testing, reduction in wind tunnel time, the rationalisation of engine prices to keep small teams in the game.

But that is now at risk from the split, with Red Bull and Ferrari unhappy about the next stage of the RRA, which the teams are finding it hard to agree on.

Both Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali and Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner asked recently if FOTA could not agree a new RRA, what was the point of having the organisation? That said, Ferrari retains close links with Sauber, which is still part of FOTA and Toro Rosso is part of the Red Bull empire.

Autosport broke the story today and got a confirmation from a FOTA spokesman, “FOTA confirms it has received the resignation of two teams. Whilst considering its next steps, FOTA will continue to work on behalf of its members to achieve the aims of the organisation.”

The row has been brewing for some time but the split comes just two months into the tenure as FOTA secretary general of Oliver Weingarten, who worked previously as a lawyer in the English Premier League. He is in the process of learning the characters involved and the complex dynamics of the F1 paddock.

There have been suggestions that the top four teams, including Red Bull and Ferrari, were going to meet independently to see if they could agree a framework outside FOTA for a way forward on RRA.

Most teams don’t have a large enough budget to be affected by the RRA, but it does place a ceiling above the big teams and stops them from engaging in a spending arms race which would skew the competitive balance of the sport and ultimately could lead to the failure of several medium and small teams who would be unable to compete.

It may be that Ferrari and Red Bull’s move will focus minds and in the two month notice period they must serve, it will force agreement which saves the organisation.

But if FOTA splits, it would be a personal crisis for FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh, who has invested three years in the development of FOTA because he believed it was for the greater good.

“F1 has survived economic storm that began in 2008 better than we might have and I think that there are a number of teams that wouldn’t be around without that the spirit of co-operation we’ve had in many areas of FOTA,” he told me in an interview last month at McLaren’s factory.

“We have limited the arms race on wind tunnels by limiting the scale to 60%. Some teams were having to spend £50 million for a full scale tunnel to be competitive. We’ve limited the hours; it was getting to three shifts 24/7 and now our tunnel runs for half of that time. We had to also reduce the CFD time. We are spending less than half the money we used to externally and we’ve been through a painful redundancy process. None of these measures are disputed now and we may well use some of those mechanisms to further control costs.

“The teams have always fought each other on the track and off the track and not always recognised that we’ve got a lot of common interests in our core business.

“Do we have lots of challenges? Yes. Will we do everything we want to? No.

“I think FOTA has achieved more in its three years than the teams did in the previous sixty.

“We wouldn’t be very smart if we don’t stay together.”

That could all be in jeopardy now.

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164 Comments
  1. Donald says:

    What is the issue? Essentially that RBR and Ferrari want less restriction? If so does that have implications about how seriously they took the downsizing that was introduced?

    1. Kev Irwin says:

      What it means is that the teams who leave FOTA will be asked to police the RRA themselves without outside monitoring, or monitoring on a nod and a wink, of course the cash war is about to start again, Ferrari believe given more development time they have the resources to outstrip Red Bull, they have always spent themselves out of a bad patch, if thats what happens I cant see McLaren wanting to stay in FOTA as it will give their rivals a big boost.

    2. C B Smith says:

      So there we have it. No surprise to some us who have seen this before. Ferrari is indeed a leopard. Quitting from FOTA as the prelude to cutting its own deal with the devil only to hear LdM whinge for another seven years about F1 (after they have bagged most of the team money) from another thirty pieces of silver deal.

    3. Wayne says:

      Simply put, what the heck is worng with these people! So small minded and self obsessed. Ferrari are only ever part of something until it does not produce the exact results they are looking for, use the mantra ‘common good’ only so long as it suits their purpose. RBR should know better, they will not always be on top and what then? They just quit as they have said recently. When Hamilton mentioned that they were ‘just a soft drinks company’ he was slammed and now RBR have come out in the press recently and said exactly the same thing. Everyone who slammed Hamilton can feel free to apologise below:

      ………………………………………………………………………………….

      As for RBR, this action and their recent comments show that they are simply another team looking to exploit the sport, give as little as possible back and move on. The likes of Ferrari, Williams and McLaren should ALL get extra constructors money to recognise their long standing committment to the SPORT.

      I will miss FOTA a little less than I would have before they decided to do a complete U-Turn over pay TV and the SKY deal. Their silence is cowardly and reprehensible considering all they had to say about Pay TV before they saw the cheque from SKY. Is the SKY deal in any way linked to this mess? i.e. the teams will have even more money and want to be able to spend it, widenig their margin to the minnows at the back fot he field? Far fetched, maybe – but as I believe the Murdochs are the devil personified I do see their hand in everying eveil everywhere ;)…

      1. Kev Irwin says:

        What you have to remember is this isnt Ferraris fault, all they want is a even playing field, Blame RBR they have ” allegedly ” been putting to use some fantastic creative accounting to pretend they are within the RRA, the allegation is that they employ someone to do development work for them, this someone actually is part of the red bull set up but not part of the RBR f1 team, this “outside ” company does £10000000 development work and bills RBR £1000000 , a clever saving of 9 mill they can spend elsewhere I.E aero development, Ferrari just want the same and as the whole issue of the RRA is being abused by one team Ferrari felt there was no option but to pull out of FOTA.

      2. Wayne says:

        If that’s the case, Kev, why not just expel RBR?

      3. C-M says:

        hat’s why this can never work and why the 50m or whatever the budget Max Mosley wanted would never work.

        Ferrari F1 for example could have Fiat build the engines then sell them to the team for 1€.

        It’s the same in football with Etihad’s naming of the Manchester City stadium for £100m

      4. MISTER says:

        @wayne: James Allen mentioned in one of his comments that Ferrari were not happy with the investigation or lack of, into the RBR spendings.

        So I think that now you should apologise for accusing Ferrari of ..well basicaly everything is not to your liking in F1.

        I just wish people like wayne would first wait, read and try and find out what the problem is and who creates it before starting to attack different people or teams (in this case) which in fact might be innocent.

      5. Kev Irwin says:

        Because it is very difficult to prove, its a loophole in the rules much like the double diffuser, every team in the paddock knows this is going on , its why RBR wont fully release their accounts ( what they say about security of information is a smokescreen ).

      6. Wayne says:

        Kev, all evidence suggests that you are completely right here. Well done for your informed post.

      7. Jacob says:

        You’re comments regarding FOTA and the Sky deal are a little unfair.

        British Television rights make up only a very small percentage of the overall F1 revenue.

        I don’t see that FOTA should make such a big stink about the UK television deal and not comment on the individual TV deals in every country that airs F1?

        They’d spend all their time discussing TV deals.

      8. Wayne says:

        Jacob, they SAID one thing, look back tyhrough this site for numerous comments about it, and promptly capitulated without a fight and took the money so it is not unfair.

      9. Wayne says:

        “It is increasingly clear that Ferrari quit because the trust has been eroded with Red Bull in particular and they feel that FOTA has been toothless in dealing with the situation.”

        If this is the case I am plain wrong and agree with Ferrari 100%, in fact I could not agree more and apologise for my rant. Ferrari are not the team they used to be and I would do well to remember that in the future.

        My commenst about RBR stand.

    4. Coefficient says:

      I think Ferrari and Red Bull do want less restriction but for different reasons. I think Ferrari want to be able to spend their way to the top as they did in the Schumacher era whereas the issue for Red Bull is more complex.

      They are faced with the problem of keeping Adrian Newey interested in F1 if they want to defer his retirment. Newey has often spoken about his dislike for the restrictive technical regulations that hinder innovation and cited technical boredom as a reason to withdraw from motorsport and move into Yacht racing.

      Without Newey at the helm of the technical team they will be unlikely to dominate as they currently do and if the success dries up, the parent company’s interest in bank rolling the F1 project might also dry up.

    5. **Paul** says:

      On the contrary I’d heard that both Ferrari and Red Bull wanted some of the restrictions to be better policed as they felt others were taking advantage. Whilst people here will take a pop at Ferrari and Red Bull it’s worth noting that Lotus Renault always seemed to have masses of staff at events, McLaren suddenly gained lots of people for their road car production (yet work closely with their F1 counterparts) and of course Williams Hybrid systems weren’t doing any work for the F1 team…

      The above isn’t anything to do with the teams leaving FOTA though, they’ve left for financial reasons, i.e. they think they can strike a better deal without FOTA membership.

      1. Wayne says:

        This is completely the oppositite to everything I have read about RBR.

        As for Mclaren, the number of people working ont their road car pales into insignificance to Mercedes and Ferrari and is an irrelevance.

  2. Michael Grievson says:

    Bernie will love this and probably will have his hand in the decisions somewhere.

    I beleive its down to testing which Ferrari have always been vocal about

    1. Henry says:

      Exactly – All this means is that Bernie gets alot more money, Ferrari will get a larger slice of the pie than the rest of the teams, and red Bull also. The sport will suffer, the teams will suffer, all because Bernie (and Ferrari and Red Bull) would rather have cash in hand than a better sporting environment!

      Such a shame.

      1. CH says:

        On into the future a ways would anyone be surprised to learn that BE bought them off to split FOTA.

      2. Jorge Gaviri says:

        Exactly, you have a true point

      3. monktonnik says:

        That was absolutely my first thought.

        I’d like to say that I can’t believe that Red Bull and Ferrari are so naive as to believe that this is the right thing, but it is exactly what Bernie did last time.

        Can’t the teams see that unless they band together they aren’t going to be able to get better terms on the next concorde agreement. With Bernie surely about to retire and CVC looking to sell on the business, this was the perfect time for the teams to get that negotiation done.

      4. devilsadvocate says:

        I feel like its a lot less complicated, these teams are here to win and make money, if FOTA offered them a deal that didn’t allow that you cant blame anyone for leaving. Mclaren seem to make a decent go under the rra so perhaps they are more willing to concede some compromises to get things going but that doesnt mean they are somehow more interested in the sport and it’s well being. If they felt they weren’t getting what they wanted or working towards their goals they’d be out just as quick.

  3. Sebee says:

    Wow, this is huge.

    I think it may be good for stability in the long run. Now that Bernie doesn’t have FOTA causing real trouble, and Ferrari and current champions RBR are out – the reality is that he will have the new agreement done soon. He will quickly go in for the kill with extra incentives for these two teams guaranteed in the new agreement and we have a new Concorde Agreement in no time as others have no choice but to follow.

  4. Werewolf says:

    Bad news, so let’s hope this is more gamesmanship to influence other FOTA members than a genuine withdrawal, otherwise FOTA may have trouble surviving and, doubtless being regarded as the Division Two Association in some quarters, would certainly suffer a huge loss of influence.

    Ecclestone will be able to order yet another larger size of money belt and everyone else, except perhaps Ferrari and Red Bull, will lose out on the terms of the next Concorde Agreement.

    In a worst case scenario with an actual breakaway series, can you imagine how dull the FOM-promoted championship would be? Based on two top teams only – and one of those some way behind the other as we discuss – and the difficulties 2011′s newcomers have faced even surviving never mind being competitive, it would probably be the breakaway series that would provide the better racing and would fairly quickly secure the better coverage.

    The original series could race in front of the high bidders in Asia and Central America, while the breakaway could be, perhaps, more affordable with a more traditional location bias, taking a leaf out of DTM’s promotion and business models but with more genuine teams ontrack.

    Of course, the last time this kind of thing happened, the FIA had very different leadership with whom the teams were also embattled. It may be that Todt et al will have a less combative approach to the future, especially now most of the major manufacturers are gone.

    To end this post the way I ended another recently, it’s no wonder there’s talk of CVC selling.

    1. James Allen says:

      THey need all the teams signed up to a new Concorde Agreement to get the true value of the business out

    2. Dave_F1 says:

      “taking a leaf out of DTM’s promotion and business models”

      Well thats worked brilliantly for DTM with there poor track attendance & dismal TV ratings which have only been getting worse in recent years.

      “In a worst case scenario with an actual breakaway series, can you imagine how dull the FOM-promoted championship would be?”

      Weird since back in 2009 the Anti-FIA argument was that because FOTA had Ferrari & all its history it would be the stronger championship if a split did happen?

      If a split were to happen you would have the current championship & Ferrari the team with the most history & prestige on the FIA side.

      Ferrari has a massive fanbase, I saw a stat back in 2009 that Ferrari sold more F1 merchandise than any other F1 team so simply brushing them aside & believing other teams would have a stronger series would be a mistake.

  5. Jonathan says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that Ferrari have done the not getting our own way temper tantrum.

    I’m somewhat disappointed in Red Bull though.

    1. Tony says:

      How can you be disappointed in Red Bull? The teams suspected they were cheating last year as well as this year. Horner has also questioned FOCA’s relevance in the past. RB leaving was always on the cards.

    2. Pete says:

      @Jonathan: I completely agree!! I thought RBR was a pretty chill team not trying to get too involved in the politics of it all, but the MW/SV PR disaster and shouts of bias treatment, and now this!!

      Ferrari always do things under the table, so have never really liked them. LRGP i used to like, but EB ruined that. RBR now does this, McLaren are too corporate-like (less so now under MW though)…wow, there isn’t a whole lot of teams to support in F1 now. Caterham in 2012!

    3. means says:

      why? there’s no honor in business, just money

    4. Doobs says:

      RB allegedly overspend using clever acounting and not having open books. No point in Ferrari or anyone else belonging to FoTA in that case.

  6. S Quilter says:

    Hi James,
    “Leopards do not change their spots”, if I remember correctly…

    Ferrari are single minded about looking after their own interests above all and now Red Bull have been duped into following them…

    A sad day for Mr Whitmarsh, and the smaller teams on the grid.

    But of course the real winner will be Mr Ecclestone, who must be laughing out loud right now!

    1. [MISTER] says:

      I was 100% sure people will start blaming Ferrari.
      Stop assuming Ferrari are in F1 to please the fans and to provide a good show to the F1 audience. They are in for the business and to promote their brands. They (as well as all the other teams) have to protect their scope in this.

      They have fast cars with big engines..and still have have agreed to the new 2014 engine changes.

      No matter how much you blame things on Ferrari about the testing, they have a point. This is the only major sport..any even any sport in which no testing is allowed. 3 days per year is hardly called testing to be honest.
      You have to be allowed to test especially in a sport where inovation and high end design and aerodinamics are playing such a major part.

      I am convinced that limited testing will allow all the teams across the field to be closer together in terms of performance.

      Seriously, stop blaming this on Ferrari without knowing what the real issues are. This is getting ridiculous.

      1. Cliff says:

        Do you really think Ferrari would be asking for more testing if they were WCC, and would RBR willing to leave FOTA if they were not in such a strong position? This a reaction to Ferrari’s inability to win a title since 2008. I completely agree with the point that teams need to test and develop young talent, but it is hard to beleive that the move of both Red Bull and Ferrari is not more about self-interest. Probably, the thing that surprises me most is how quickly the teams have forgotten the ‘Credit Crunch’ and the Global Recession. If nothing else, the RRA has helped teams to look at their business models and restructure their operations for the future.

      2. [MISTER] says:

        And you are telling me that Ferrari will benefit the most if limited testing will be introduced?

        If yes, how can you say that? I know Ferrari used to test at their own track, but this is just a detail which can be fixed by setting exact dates and locations where teams are allowed to test, like they did in Abu Dhabi.

        There is every chance that once testing will be introduced, Ferrari can fall backwards and other midfield teams to move up the grid with some smart development.
        Everybody was saying Ferrari would be the team to beat in 2011 because they did the most mileage last spring, but look what happened. It could be the same case with the testing.

        I rly don’t understand how people can be so naive into thinking that just because Ferrari are so vocal about the testing, this is going to benefit them the most. It’s absurd!

      3. John H says:

        @MISTER

        Simple, because they have their own track unlike any of the other teams.

      4. [MISTER] says:

        @John H: I covered the point with their own track in my previous post. They can have set rules that the testing can only be allowed on certain dates and tracks. I am not talking about unlimited testing where Ferrari can go on their track and test as much as they want.

        If they set certain tracks and dates and days where all teams can go and test, why not? That is very very easy to keep under control.

      5. JF says:

        Excellent comment. I agree.

        With respect to your last sentence, when have forum users ever worried about what the actual issues are when it so much more fun to make up your own!

      6. Brukay says:

        So why should they be punished for that they had their own track for years but it did not make them world champs in fact only when schumi came to ferrari and dominated that they had to stop using their own track Mclaren williams had been in sport long enough they could have built their own tracks too

      7. herowassenna says:

        “This is the only major sport..any even any sport in which no testing is allowed. 3 days per year is hardly called testing to be honest.”

        The one thing that really winds me up, is all the players are car manufacturers, or big businesses, and hugely successful. If they can’t afford to run, they withdraw. Look at Toyota, Bmw and Honda, all major billion dollar companies.
        Yet the governing body can tell them that they can’t test or they can’t spend as much as they choose.
        What would the Real Madrid’s, Barcelona’s, Man. Utd’s and City do if they were told they can’t sign a player for £35,000,000, pay them ludicrous wages etc.. and lets not forget, this is for a squad of 30 odd players.
        There has to be balance, but you cannot tell me that BMW withdrew from F1 whilst in debt… yet look at the football teams.

      8. Cliff says:

        Car manufacturers withdrew because F1 was unsustainable at the previous costs, and probably more important, they were not winning races. As for the rules, it called the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, therefore they can set and enforce the rules.

        As for football, European Football Teams have their own version of RRA coming in the next few years. Football has realised that it cannot go on spending money at will. Teams could be banned from European if they don’t get their finances in order.

      9. markdartj says:

        It also looks bad for a BMW, a Toyota, a Honda, to continually loose races. Remember, win on Sunday, sell on Monday. Not that it makes sense, but all a lot of car manufacturers got out of F-1 was bad publicity.

      10. AA says:

        We can take your analogy further. Imagine the football teams were only allowed to practice on a field together as a team only 3 days of the year.

        I think to go from unlimited tested to almost no testing was totally ridiculous.

      11. AA says:

        my last sentence should have read “…to almost no testing”

      12. lecho says:

        “What would the Real Madrid’s, Barcelona’s, Man. Utd’s and City do if they were told they can’t sign a player for £35,000,000″

        Then the situation will go back to normality, not like today when it’s enough for a fair, but mediocre clubs such as Manchester City or Malaga to grow up to legends status in a year only because some rich person will decide to spend his spare money to play Football Manager live :P

      13. Doobs says:

        Why not let the fans decide the rules? The whole testing and RRA is BS. For the so-called pinnacle of motorsport, it’s just a way of dumbing down so the likes of RB can say “we beat Ferrari”. Proving what?
        Like life, F1 should be about the survival of the fittest. So a few teams go under..stuff happens. Things have a habit of levelling themselves out eventually. I can’t imagine the Premier League with every team on exactly the same budget. WTF!? Man.Utd etc reduced to the same level as Spitsville Rovers? Like that would work. Every sport needs its giants to aspire to, or are we all socialists now?

      14. C B Smith says:

        “Seriously, stop blaming this on Ferrari”

        Splitting from FOTA will not resolve Ferrari’s complaints…..they will still be there with BE always meddling with his under the table deals and crackpot ideas.

        Why not get BE out of the picture first using FOTA resolve before tackling the other issues?

        Do we need to hear LdM complaints after he has done another deal with BE?

      15. Brian says:

        Testing has the added advantage of keeping the drivers in safer environments while they maintain their ‘edge’.

        Would Robert Kubica be driving for Ferarri next year if there was more testing allowed?

        Would Mark Webber have been champion last year if there was more testing allowed?

        I understand the motivation to keep costs under control. But all involved need to practice their craft in order to maintain the high levels of performance that we all expect from F1.

    2. Stefanos says:

      This is unfair. Essentially the RRA in its current guise is being forced upon everyone by the FIA (Mosley legacy), Williams, and other teams who haven’t a hope in hell (mostly the new ones). It affects the big teams negatively but has no real effect on the smaller teams. Has it changed the rakning? No. Has it closed the gap? No. It was what it took to get rid of Mosley.

      The big teams were not asking to void the RRA, but simply to relax the restrictions and allow a few more tests. I see nothing wrong with adding 2-3 tests per year, as it is clear that the restrictions were too severe. The fastest car at the beginning of the year is the fastest car in the end. No serious development took place. No breakthroughs. Is that what we want? The small teams simply decided to put one over the large ones and not move. No search for a common ground. I can’t quite see how this is fair.

      1. Bec says:

        The RRA is nothing to do with the FIA, it was and still is the brainchild of FOTA, designed to kill-off the FIA’s Cost Cap proposal, which it did.

      2. Wayne says:

        Not true. The FIA told FOTA to do something about costs or it would!

      3. Bec says:

        @Wayne

        The FIA wanted the ‘Cost Cap’, this was rejected by FOTA in May 2009 and FOTA’s RRA took its place.

        The RRA is not policed or administered by the FIA, it is purely a FOTA agreement and has nothing to do with the FIA.

      4. Stefanos says:

        @Bec

        I think it is quite obvious that the RRA is what became of the “Cost Cap” as part of the negotiations. Wayne’s reply above should also have made it clear enough…

      5. Bec says:

        Not really, the cost cap was to be a regulated and verifiable set of budget limiting restraints.
        The RRA is an unregulated ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with no teeth.

        It’s also been watered down:

        External services were set at 20 million each, and have now been increased to 30 million.
        Total staff was set at 280 but has been increased to 315.

        Included in the RRA is a ban on in-season testing, which was not present in the cost cap proposal, because it was unnecessary, because teams had a set budget that they could spend in almost any way they wanted, the RRA restricts by common consent how much use each service/resource can run up to, and even these have been largely ignored.

        That should make it clear enough.

      6. lecho says:

        Oh yes it has closed the gap. Few years ago it was pretty normal to see P5 differ from P1 by around 1,5 seconds. Today the same difference covers from P1 to P18. I guess part of the credits for that goes to the RRA.

      7. Stefanos says:

        I am not sure that this is accurate at all.

  7. BillC says:

    I don’t know how he did it, but to me this has Bernie’s sticky fingers all over it

  8. Derek Wright says:

    Good day for Bernie’s divide and conqer regime, bad for the sport in general, great shame

  9. Mandrake says:

    Seems MW is the voice of reason in FOTA but surely neither Ferrari or RB can have forgotten how without FOTA any one of them can be hung out to dry by CVC.

    I can’t believe they would be so stupid as to ignore the lessons of the past or that they feel it necessary or fair to be able to spend significantly more on development then other teams.

    1. TheBestPoint? says:

      Maybe voice of reason but is he the best person to navigate this latest road block successfully?

      Not sure he shld have gone for the second term. Organising the RRA was well done but Redbull flouting it with no consequences would have annoyed FERRARI no end. (Can’t say I disagree as would rather Mclaren was fighting FERRARI for top honours than slotting in regularly behind REDBULL). FOTA probably needed a bruiser/shaker personality or a team owner with wheeling/dealing experience – someone who would have recognised Ferrari’s frustration and moved to overt their threat (a testing compromise wld have benefitted Mclaren to stupid) rather than trying to please both of them and failing.

      Anyhow he needs to sort out this mess while keeping an eye on the main Battle _Concorde A- RRA pales into significance compared to that and even if FOTA is to disband that shld be their SwanSwong.

  10. gabriel says:

    Ferrari think F1 is their property and they play by their rules. This is one of the conclusions of the article above.

    Its a shame they are not a team player. They would not be able to behave the same as they do now, back in the 90s when they didn’t win anything. Since the Schumacher era they gained a lot of money, prestige, bigger fan base and now they think they run the show. If they were in Williams shoes there would be more sense coming to them.

    Red Bull pours money into its biggest marketing channel: their F1 team.

    Two opposite teams (for Ferrari their history means F1 and for Red Bull its purely advertising). Its ironic how they come together although are fundamentally different.

    1. Chotazas says:

      I totally agree with you as I´ve posted down. Luca thinks that F1 is his backyard and mateschitz want more championship to show his brand across the global market at any price.

      1. Tony Onesmallstep says:

        I’ve tasted Red Bull once – no amount of championships would ever make me try it again!

    2. Buck61 says:

      What you need to remember is that Ferrari sells cars to race they don’t race to market there cars. That has always been the way the company works. RBR got into the sport to market there product and get more exposier so the more press the better. My hats off to them.

      1. Arnie S says:

        I think that’s the old version. Nowadays Ferrari is a car manufacturer as the rest (although at a different level. I think even for F “race on Sundays, sell on Mondays” is now valid

  11. Mark J says:

    In the true spirit of politics in F1, Ferrari leaves the association it created to help serve its own interets! Red Bull have been taking the mickey with RRA anyway, doing as they please.

    I think FOTA is an important part of F1 and has acheived many things for the better of the sport. But it was amazing FOTA has lasted for so long with self interests always put first in negotiations. A teams main priority is to win and beat the other teams, how can anyone expect they will all see eye to eye on any topic then?

    Bernie must be laughing now he has the high ground in the sports negotiations for the future.

  12. Wayne says:

    Bernie wins again and everyone else looses. These spoilt children deserve everything that’s comming to them. Any suprises here? The team that gets special treatment from CVC and th eteam that Bernie has been courting non-stop for the past few months. So no, no suprises what so ever. Tiresome though…

  13. Jules says:

    Now there’s something to keep us fans interested in F1 through the winter! :-)

  14. Andrew says:

    It’s worth remembering this is a competition and the teams have a complex balance to keep between competing but also prospering the sport as a whole. There is already an imbalance with Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari at the front, Mercedes stuck in no man’s land and the rest trailing behind. The bigger, more financially powerful teams will always win and it is hard to see why Red Bull would wish to go backwards or Ferrari would wish to not try and gain any advantage they think they can. Mercedes and McLaren will be forced to respond to keep up. The rest will just fight for survival.

    One thing is certain: Bernie is now smiling a bit wider tonight!

  15. Andrew Carter says:

    Bernie is going to be rubbing his hands with glee over this.

    How very short sited of these two teams.

  16. Tyler says:

    Ahh the politics of F1…never ending and always entertaining.

  17. Chotazas says:

    What a disaster! Montezomolo believes that Ferrari is above the whole F1 thing and theses days are over now, but he still believes it and he doesn´t mind about anything except ferrari. I am not going to say “I told you”, I am going to say “mr. Mosley said it lot of times”. Bernie and the CVC´s management committee must be laughing about it. Crap. Now FIA will write the rules without any discussions, Bernie and CVC will share profits, Luca will get what he wants… and williams will dissapear from the history in a couple or little more years. Thanks Luca. And Why is Mateszchitz on it? Only because he has money enough to spend without any control?. I think that we all can know the ferrari reasons, but what about the red bull reasons?. Montezemolo responses: …F1 is relying too much on aerodynamics, bla, bla, bla…

  18. Dmitry says:

    Really bad news indeed.

    Why am I not surprised they came from Ferrari and Red Bull?
    Ferrai and Montezemolo surely want to lead the course into new look F1, and looks like he could possible struck a deal with Red Bull… but ultimately I see them both fail. To me it looks like they have completely forgotten lessons of the past and the purpose FOTA was created for… be united and fight for their rights…

    I really can’t imagine situation, that Bernie, FIA and/or someone else will wish to talk to only Ferrari (ok, they quite famous) and Red Bull (what? Drink racing team? You must be joking!) with the wish to spend more and more… If Martin can hold remaining FOTA members together – they might have a greater chance of emerging on the winning side.

  19. thestretch says:

    I hope they scrap the RRA to be honest.

    All team sports no matter which one it is has teams that can spend more than others and teams who win more than others i dont hear premier league football teams crying out for a spending cap to stop the bigger teams spending all their money buying the best players in the world!

    I think the teams should be allowd to spend their money how they want and on what they want. Maybe Mclaren,Ferrari even mercedes could have made a better fight of it against the Red Bulls and each other this season had they been allowd to spend what they wanted and the championship may have lasted a few races more maybe even down to the last race again.

    1. Jim says:

      I don’t think that this comparison between F1 and football is very meaningful, because the car is so much of the equation in F1. The “machines” in football (basketball, tennis, whatever) are highly trained human bodies. They won’t improve *that* much no matter how much you spend. In motorsports on the other hand, speed is more a function of money: the more you spend, the faster you go.

      If we go back to the good old days of teams spending whatever they like, the smaller teams might as well give up and go home. Without a billionaire backer they wouldn’t be able to compete, wouldn’t get the sponsorship, wouldn’t improve, wouldn’t be able to compete…. To revisit the football analogy we’d end up with a two-tier F1, but with no chance of promotion from the “first division” to the “premier league”.

      1. Andrew says:

        Don’t we already have that? Lately only 5 drivers and 3 teams are capable of even winning a race. It’s not foreseeable, outside of strange or unusual circumstances that anyone outside of Red Bull, McLaren or Ferrari would win. People say that we might get a situation where other teams won’t be able to compete – but they can’t right now!

      2. [MISTER] says:

        In football the “machines” are not the human bodies, is the 11 people team.
        How would fotbal be if they would be allowed to train only 3 days a season? And the rest they need to play in the 10 min before a game and in the game itself.

        I realize this comparison is stupid and it doesn’t make me look very smart, but I think is wrong to think no testing is better for F1.

    2. Rich C says:

      So… you prefer to see 4 teams fighting it out (with 3 cars each ofc) and each spending enough to buy their own aircraft carrier each year?

      ANd there are *many sports leagues with salary caps and other spending limits that work just fine.

      1. Stretch says:

        Other team sports have salery caps yes but not caps on how much they use their swimming pool running track or gym ! I think the fans are losing out as teams are limited on how much they can spend on wind tunnel use especially I think ferrari’s front wing would have stopped flapping about alot earlier if they could use their wind tunnel when they wanted that could have made it a much more exciting end of season

    3. [MISTER] says:

      Fair point on the comparison with premier league.
      Footbal is the biggest sport in the world if I’m not wrong and like thestretch said, they don’t have a budget on how much they can spend on players, stadiums or even how much they are allowed to train.

      But, I don’t think is right to go back to unlimited spending. That is just wrong. A limit on budgets and limited testing should be introduced. I don’t think there is any team in F1 who doesn’t whish to have some testing back.

      Maybe James can tell us a bit more about the general opinion that the teams have about testing.

      1. James Allen says:

        Catch 22 – they’d like to do more to sort out cars and develop young drivers, but the mechanics are knackered already and more testing would mean needing a separate test team again, which is a big cost

      2. Marcus in Canada says:

        They need to turn the testing into “events”, market the testing, to give something to the fans and get revenue out of it. Do it on Fridays or Saturdays of race weekends to keep all the logistical costs down, and you have a race crowd ready to go. They could add all kinds of team/driver access events too.

      3. Iwan says:

        Why not test on two / three Mon + Tue following GP’s at that track? That will save on travelling plus time to set up shop.

        Or would this be too obvious?

      4. Liam in Sydney says:

        Agreed with the above comments.

        Give the teams a set of “testing engines” (maybe, say, 4 per season) and some “testing tyres” (say 2 sets per weekend BUT not to be used for racing), then let teams test 2 hours on Thursday and another 2 hours on Friday.

        The cars could be driven by rookie drivers, the teams get exposure for free, and they save money by testing their cars when all the required elements are already on hand.

        Then ban all other testing except maybe one or two major pre-season tests.

        What do you reckon?

    4. Frans says:

      The problem with EPL implementing a spending cap is that it would make the EPL uncompetitive compared to other leagues in Europe. Basically the top talents would just play on another league. If EPL want to implement a cap, then it must be implemented by UEFA to the whole European league and that is going to be a very complex matter.

      As for RRA itself, I don’t mind the premise of RRA, but it is definitely hard to police. Scraping the RRA is probably the best solution.
      My idea to prevent rich team run away is to allow teams scrutinize competitors car so they can copy each other more easily.

      1. Rudy Pyatt says:

        Well, to your point about allowing teams to scrutinize their competitor’s cars, some racing series have had “claiming” rules over the years: Post race, a competitor can place a claim – a fixed sum – on a rival’s engine, essentially buying it below cost. I’ll have to dig up a link giving a better description. The whole car may be up for claim in some instances. Red Bull would have had an interesting season if such a rule (it’ll never, ever, happen in F1) had been in effect – sorta like giving away the plans for The Death Star.

        This sad devotion to that ancient F1 religion of divide and conquer has not given us peace in our time. Many, fans and teams included, are disappointed, wondering if this course is wise. Bernie, Ferrari and Red Bull might well being saying to their critics, in FOTA and elsewhere, “We find your lack of faith disturbing,” as they try to leverage a favorable new Concorde Agreement. All the other stakeholders – fans included – should respond, “Enough. FIA, release them… This bickering amongst ourselves is pointless.”

        This situation is aggravating. We have been here before. Maybe this scenario will cause the FIA to (finally) see sense and just set up an entirely separate world championship from F1. Not in place of F1, but in addition to it: I’ve said this before, but, really, why does the FIA only have ONE single-seater world championship? To my recollection, F1 has been the ONLY such series in the FIA’s history. F2 never had world championship status, despite being an open category. F3 doesn’t have that status, despite being an open category. Why does the FIA have to put all of its eggs in one basket? F1 does not have to be the be-all end-all championship.

        I love F1. But I also love football (American) AND football (soccer). And I’ve gotten into rugby. All football in some form. I see no reason why the FIA can’t similarly provide fans, tracks, promoters, engineers, drivers, mechanics, engine builders, etc., with single seater racing (F1) and singe seater racing (New Formula).

        National motorsports organizations (“ASN” in FIA-speak) are free to propose such series and technical regs, so consider this: France has no F1 round. The races in Germany, Belgium and, Australia are under threat, and F1 has yet to prove (modern times at any rate) that it will do the work necessary to market the sport in the U.S.A. Turkey has a wonderful track that will now go to waste. Japan had a wonderful track (Fuji) modified at great cost to accommodate F1, which hasn’t been back since. Track owners and race promoters simply cannot afford F1 for any length of time without government assistance. That’s a pretty significant list of interested parties. If two or more of these ASNs (France-Germany-U.S.A-Belgium-Australia, for example) were to jointly propose an additional world championship, with technical and sporting regs (and tracks – there are PLENTY that could be used) different from those used in F1, such a series would have a great chance of coming into existence. And succeeding.

        A Rebel Alliance at the ASN level? Perhaps only in the far away galaxy of the imagination. But, hey, you never know.

  20. franed says:

    We can hear Bernie rubbing his hands together and laughing from here.
    It would serve then right If FOTA did a very good deal and Red Bull and Ferrari got offered a pittance.

  21. Andy says:

    It would be interesting to know why they have left, presumably the RRA. Weren’t there rumours that Red Bull had exceeded the RRA?
    Ferrari probably want a bigger slice of the pie again, maybe Red Bull are going to try the same approach.
    I’m all for restricting costs, if you don’t we will have a limited grid. The RRA was a compromise and doesn’t have the benefits it should have had.

  22. K says:

    FOTA is a complete waste of time and resources themselves.

    Good on these 2 teams for dumping it.

    1. ronmon says:

      Thanks for dropping in, Bernie.

  23. Tom D says:

    Maybe FOTA really has run its course. The interests of Ferrari and the smaller teams was never going to stay in harmony. I’m sure Bernie is happy and most teams will do worse from the next Concorde agreement. I’m just disappointed that recent improvements that put the fan first (I’m thinking of more than just DRS here) will probably fall by the wayside.

  24. Douglas says:

    Who polices the RRA – is it done on an honour basis?

  25. terryshep says:

    The simultaneous resignation of these two teams makes it clear that they are acting in concert. Whether it is because they feel too restricted by the RRA, or that they see some means of gaining an advantage, why do you all think they have the whip-hand? MacLaren & Mercedes together, never mind the weight of all the rest of F1, are ranged against them, F1 can go on without them perfectly well – and I wouldn’t miss either of them for long. Teams come and go, in a couple of years Red Bull would be forgotten and Ferrari just remembered as a part of the past, like Lotus, Brabham and they both won World championships.

    There comes a time when entities get too big for their boots and the result is something the Greeks called Hubris. Ferrari – and Red Bull – need to remember this. Let’s face it, who are Red Bull? A Johnny-come-lately team, with no history whatever.

    I am certain that their drivers would soon find a way to exit their contracts if there was a breakup and an alternative series.

    However, both these teams are backed by shrewd operators and they must be well aware of the dangers of losing unity with the Concorde arguments coming up. This may simply be a negotiating gambit and if, as a side effect, it leads to a relaxation of the testing rules, I’d welcome that part of it. It’s nonsensical that teams are obliged to spend huge amounts simply to be there, without the possibility of refining and developing their cars to their best potential.

    I don’t necessarily think that Bernie would be all that happy about this, either. As an employee of CVC, he would surely prefer a simple negotiation with a complete body than a raging argument with a bi-polar grouping. Never forget that Mac & Merc are just as important as the two breakaways – and they’ve got the rest of the teams with them, too. I make no secret of my desire to see these two fall on their faces unless they can show good reasons for this desertion from the ranks.

  26. Tom says:

    All those saying Ferrari only cares about Ferrari, why have they therefore spent the last three years being so heavily involved in FOTA, the RRA, etc?

    Everybody loves to kick Ferrari while they’re down, I get it, it’s like Manchester United. But to say they only care about themselves is clearly daft – unless you take the conspiracy theory view that FOTA was in itself just a big game to make themselves Bernie’s favourites once again just around Concorde time.

    I don’t.

  27. Rich C says:

    “…Domenicali and…Horner asked recently if FOTA could not agree a new RRA, what was the point of having the organisation?”

    So its obvious they *really mean “if FOTA will not do what *we want what is the point”

    But they left their proxies STR & Sauber in so as to still have influence within.

    I can not believe they are actually looking 5 years ahead to a new RRA.

    So I think they are looking or more of that “signing bonus” money for the new Concorde Agreement, since as we all know, they are just sooo special.

  28. Merlinghnd says:

    Just like squabbling children, the teams should grow up and get a grip, but no, too much money, I want more, same old story.

  29. Rich C says:

    And for those of you recently advocating that FOTA should be the one to own and run F1 – how would that be working for you now?

    1. ChrisS says:

      If FOTA were running F1, I doubt whether Red Bull and Ferrari would have left! You wouldn’t want to leave an organisation that had real power.

      Sadly, though, this news does rather support Bernie’s stated view that the teams would be incapable of running F1 because they cannot agree on anything.

      1. Rudy Pyatt says:

        See the USAC/CART/IRL saga for how the FOCA/FISA/FOTA/CVC saga will play out.

  30. Ben G says:

    I can’t see any reason for Ferrari and Red Bull to pull out now, if the argument is for what happens post 2017.

    Therefore, it must be because they have cut a deal with Bernie.

    If so, shame on them.

  31. Kev Irwin says:

    If Red Bull believe they can outspend and out develop McLaren and Ferrari in a no holds spend/development race I think they might just be mistaken, the resources both Ferrari and McLaren could throw at the cars were limited by the FOTA RRA agreement being policed by FOTA themselves, with no policing of the RRA by a outside body then the teams outside FOTA will turn this into a cash arms race.

  32. t ramp says:

    I choose

    Petrov
    Piquet
    Algusury
    Bumi
    hulk

    1. Alex_D says:

      to leave FOTA?

  33. Marcus in Canada says:

    This is nothing more than the two most conceited, selfish teams on the grid walking out because they can’t get their way. They are obviously more self interested than interested in the good of the sport. This is not good for fans. I think the fans should vote with their fingers and let RBR and Ferrari know what they think of this.
    I will.

    1. [MISTER] says:

      Like is the fans who have to pour hundreds of millions into this F1. Seriously dude, try put yourself in a F1 team’s shoes.
      When you have to find the money, you don’t think about the fans and the sport first. You think about your team’s success and survival first.

      1. Marcus in Canada says:

        Only in the short term. If there is no one around for Ferrari and RBR to beat it won’t attract a lot of attention. In this case they need to step back and realise they are part of a bigger picture. The NFL and to a lesser extent NBA and MLB have figured this out and have something approaching parity that in the end rewards all teams. Only the TOTALLY selfish interests of RBR and Ferrari could ignore this fact.

    2. Down with FOTA says:

      FOTA who came up with DRS, no testing, demanding gimmicky tyres, resulting in ugly cars and a manufactured way of racing?

  34. HFEVO2 says:

    This is an absolute disaster for the teams whose only chance to wrestle control from Bernie and FOM is to stick together.

    Bernie must be delighted as he’s always looked at the teams’ attempts to work together with complete contempt.

    We know the RRA only really affects the four big budget teams and there have been constant rumblings about cheating involving Mercedes and Red Bull.

    James, can you please explain the detail behind this row and the one about testing : who is on which side ?

    1. Bec says:

      One of the main sticking points (but not the only one), is that Ferrari want a reduction in aero’, which is their Achilles heel and Red Bull’s forte, and Red Bull want less reliance on engine development which is their main issue and Ferrari’s potential saviour.

  35. MrAngry83 says:

    This is very interested F1 news to keep us warming through the winter…
    In my opinions, FOTA should give the teams more engines (from 8 to 12 or 14) per season and increase the time in free practice (2 hours instead of 1h30m) to solve the problem with testing. As the result of limited testing, all the teams have to use arround their 8 limited engines to test further aerodynamic parts. Therefore, they may get problem with the cars during the races because of the engines’ ages. Besides, there will be less RETs during the race because of engines’ failure and it will make the race more exciting for the fans.
    Extending free practice time will also take part in teams’ testing. They will get more time to do whatever they want…
    Just some of mine ideas…

    1. young slinger says:

      How dare you come up with a sensible idea, this is F1!

    2. Ash.P says:

      Engines only cost 4 million a year now & that’s partly because of the limitations on the amount of engines any team can use during a season, &
      that is why Team Lotus and Williams can afford the Renault engines now. If they have use more engines the price will go up and half the grid will be left with underpowered Cosworth engines & they’ll be paying 20m a year to have them. Bearing in mind these teams are not as well funded as the MAC & the RBR I’m not convinced that more testing will do them any good under such conditions.

  36. Gus82 says:

    Shame on them!

    If either Ferrari or Red Bull get favorable deals the other teams should decide to not sign and call their bluff. F1 (or a successor – GP1?) could survive without them throwing their weight around.

    I really hope their is a backlash against both teams

    1. Tony says:

      There won’t be a backlash because that requires unity.

  37. Doug says:

    If you need another opinion, I think this whole deal has more to do with meeting the RRA than with the Concorde Agreement. Some teams are scaling down to meet the RRA and others are operating within the RRA as we speak. The big spenders probably have to meet some difficult targets next season and are not willing or able to achieve them.

    The pendulum has gone too far to one side. If we severely limit the testing and limit the technological advancement, how is the sport going to grow? How are we going to find the next level? When is the main straight going to be converted to a tunnel so that we can pass cars on the ceiling and avoid the dirty air?

  38. Alex_D says:

    I wanted, but could not respond to any particular post – they are ALL AGAINST FERRARI.
    Ferrari is perceived as the worst evil in F1…
    Ferrari cares about Ferrari only? And do you think that Vijay Malia is the next to lead Green Peace?

    1. Birdman says:

      That’s because Ferrari keeps acting like a spoiled child. They can’t get enough testing, or they want to spend more time on CFD or in the wind tunnel, so they pull out of FOTA in time to get a stack of development done on their new car. I would wager that their tunnel is on 3 shifts right now. Red Bull just pulled out in response to help preserve their advantage.

  39. Dave_F1 says:

    So its basically gone the way of CART which is as I predicted back in 2009.

    Everyone fighting for there own intrest’s & eventually something had to give.

    Its why the teams should never be allowed to run the sport, They each have there own wants/needs & not all of that will be what the others want.

    If FOTA had started there own series or taken control of F1 we’d be in bigger trouble than 2 teams simply leaving an association, We’d be in a situation where 2 of the biggest teams had either walked away from the series or defected to the other (As happened with the CART/IRL split) & either scenario would do the sport as a whole no good.

  40. Dizzy says:

    So Ferrari say they want to bring back testing & cut cost’s & suddenly there the bad guys?

    I thought everyone here wanted testing back? Or is that only when its not Ferrari saying it?

    Fact is Ferrari & Red Bull have left because nobody can agree on anything, Each team wants there own thing & what each team wants isn’t what the others want.

    People here blame Ferrari & Red Bull, However what about the other teams who are blocking things like testing which as I said I thought everyone here wanted to return?

    Red Bull & Ferrari have left FOTA, However that doesn’t mean they are to blame for the failings of FOTA in the recent discussions.

    Why is it the 1st reaction of almost everyone on this site to immediately blame Ferrari? Nobody here knows the true facts yet its all immediately Ferrari’s fault?

    Im not a Ferrari fan BTW.

  41. GarryT says:

    Reading all the above comments you guys need to get a grip. It’s a business shareholders money is invested a lot of money off course they need to get the best result for their company.
    Complaining they are selfish or whatever is plainly childish I can guarantee if it was your money or house on the line your attitudes would be different.

    I suggest that if you actually have been following the fota saga it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that the problem is actually Ross and Mercedes frustrating any agreements

  42. captainj84 says:

    ……..the latest news has just broke on this matter, tune into skyF1hd for full details :)

    1. snailtrail says:

      Probably a little early to say which way Redbull are turning – they may be unhappy with the direction of some decisions – that doesnt mean they want the cap to disappear.

      Going off track record its probably safe to assume Ferrari has left for the opposite reason…

  43. Stretch says:

    James do you think that without the RRA this years championship would have been alot closer with Ferrari and mclaren having the “resources” to close the gap to the red bulls alot quicker and maybe the championship would have lasted a few races more ?

    I understand that bringing back testing would be a massive cost that all teams may not be able to afford and some restrictions may be a good thing on this but I don’t feel teams should have limits put on wind tunnel testing or how much they spend on development every sport has its top dogs and it’s down to the the teams below them to try and knock them off the top as red bull have done and if the rumours that keep popping up on websites and in magazines are to be believed red bull have had to break the RRA to do so. All though I think there are pros and cons to the RRA I just feel it maybe robbing us of a closer championship I don’t think red bull would have had it all there own way like they have if teams could develop there cars with no restriction on wind tunnels especially

    1. James Allen says:

      Works both ways – RBR would have been able to spend even more!

  44. StefMeister says:

    Know its way off topic but is there any thruth to this bit of speculation?

    http://www.confidential-renault.fr/Renault-et-Total-au-chevet-de-Romain-i2600

    Basically sais that if Lotus/Renault don’t sign Grosjean to a full time race seat then Total could withdraw its sponsorship & Renault would start charging more for the engine supply.

    1. James Allen says:

      Grosjean has support from Total but don’t forget he’s also managed by Genii and Boullier. I think there are some more fundamental changes in the team which have a bearing on why happens next

      1. Rich C says:

        I still consider those kinds of arrangements to be *such huge conflicts-of-interest that I just cant believe they are allowed.

        How can it not be so if your manager/agent is your boss too??

        It’s just crazy.

      2. Dren says:

        I’m expecting Boullier to be replaced fairly soon.

  45. John H says:

    This is the F1 Prisoners Dilema. FOTA was never going to work because its always better in the short-term to put self-interest first, but in times of crisis the group would actually achieve more in total (FOTA fans forum anyone).

    That’s why this is bad for F1, but sadly innevitable. Ferrari and Red Bull have behaved predictably I’m afraid.

  46. Steve says:

    The testing ban was illconceived and underconsidered from the outset, can anyone tell me that the likes of Kubica or Kimi shouldn’t be allowed time in a current car before they hit the tracks again? Love him or hate him how much better would Schumacher have performed had he been allowed to acclimatise to the current cars and tyres, and before you answer that, how much more exciting would the races have been if he had? Banning active F1 drivers from testing might hold some water if it provided promising youngsters and returnees an oportunity to get some meaningful mileage under their belts. Then again I don’t believe that you can legislate a technical formula as cutting edge as F1 and expect instant results. How can anyone be surprised that the teams can’t agree, they never have done. Sure they’ve put on a front together with the corporate smile when push came to shove, but without exception every team looks out for its own. People on these forums cry out for “entertainment” when in reality you would be best to instigate a one make series. Any racing team be it a Manufacturer based team or a pure racing team would want to win and they win by having an advantage. Take the advantage away (to increase excitement)and it becomes more of a lottery or NASCAR/CART, no thanks!
    On a different note, although we aren’t aware of all the facts, from an outsiders point of view, how disgusted are you with the way Rubens is being treated? Personally I think he deserves a lot better.

    1. Steven says:

      The tires were new to all the drivers this year. MSC fans need to stop using the tires as an excuse to his underperformance.

      1. Anil says:

        Huh? he was faster than Rosberg in most races. His underperformance in qualy is a mystery though.

      2. Steve says:

        I’m not an avid Schumacher fan I was simply giving examples, however now you mention it, you have to remember when he retired they were using grooved tyres not slicks. As for under performaning, ask Vettel if he underperformed in the ROC!

  47. Kieran says:

    It’s a move by Bernie.

    FOTA, despite being a difficult idea for the piranha tank to work with, represented the greatest threat to the profitability to the current and future F1 rights.

    The Concorde agreement is approaching quickly and if the teams do not demonstrate that they can work together, then they will have to individually negotiate and be collectively worse off.

    So it’s not really about Red Bull and Ferrari, really. I would imagine they’ve just been suckered into a better deal with Bernie. Getting both, considering the tifosi and the success of Red Bull, is quite a coup.

    The fact that FOTA was saying 90% of the revenues should go to the teams means Bernie has to kill it, because otherwise the rights which CVC want to sell would be worthless.

    He’s just being a very good employee of CVC, making sure they profit from the rights and that a new buyer comes in under a similar deal.

    It’ll be interesting to see how FOTA responds – breakaway series, perhaps?

    1. James Allen says:

      I think the problem here is a lack of trust, with Ferrari unhappy that FOTA didn’t hold Red Bull to account over spending.

      1. Mohammed Al-Momen says:

        so Ferrari left because it wants FOTA to check Redbull. And Redbull left because it was upset by Ferrari?

      2. Kieran says:

        Oh – okay! Colour me corrected. Thanks James.

    2. Bec says:

      90%?

      Even if the teams were paid ‘just’ 70%, F1 would have made a £76.7m net loss last year.

  48. Erik says:

    It is pretty clear now what the remaining F1 teams in FOTA have to do. Quit as well!! That way come negotiating season with Berinie, he does not have FOTA membership as a negotiating weapon against anyone. Better yet, these two teams that quit can’t use it to gain an unfair advantage in the contract as by the very lack of the organisation existing suddenly eveyone will be back on a level playing field.

    So all that these two teams have done is dissolve a very usefull public image of solidarity. A bit short-sighted really, and as always in F1, most probably a decision taken by posturing egos.

    Some of these blokes are lucky there’s still an audience for the statement ‘pinnacle of motorsport’.

  49. C B Smith says:

    James,

    It will be interesting to see how Mercedes respond. Do you think they will quit F1 and revert back to being a engine supplier if spending levels start to increase. They purchased Brawn F1 on the presumption of a team being able to manage its F1 costs didn’t they?

    1. James Allen says:

      They won’t be happy, that’s for sure

  50. Rohan says:

    As a McLaren fan, I’m worried what this will mean for their competitiveness next season and beyond (especially if Ferrari and Red Bull get themselves into a position where they can spend $$$), but what is more worrying is the recent spate of individuals leaving McLaren for other teams: Caterham, Torro Rosso, Ferrari, Sauber. James, any insight on this? Why is it happening and what is McLaren doing to counter this outflow?

  51. As I have exclusively predicted exclusively here a coupla weeks ago, it’s the end of the road for FOTA. Comes as a natural result of what F1 has always been – the piranha club.

    One guy who’s now having a good laugh is probably DJ Kolles from OTA, One Team Association!

    I’m being slightly radical, for sure, you know, but I don’t see F1 surviving past 2020. The model the sport has adopted is just not viable. I think F1 guys go racing basically for their own pleasure, the sport may as well be known as the FIA Formula 1 VIP World Championship. Didn’t Da Big Dee Montezemolo say he couldn’t care less about F1 going to pay-per-view channels as long as 5 or so minutes of highlights were shown in the middle of the night 2 or 3 days after each GP? Kinda shows you what F1 people are all about.

    I’ll probably enjoy this last decade of F1 racing, until LMP1 and GT3 based chamionships take over.

    Hope this was the most radically radical comment on the year here; if it’s approved I’ll eat my hair.

    1. lecho says:

      Remember to post the video of yourself having the meal! :)

  52. young slinger says:

    A lot of comments, most giving sensible insights BUT as a few have mentioned, F1 in NOT a sport for the major players, but a ‘forum’ to place their wares on display, by that I mean road cars, the whole point of F1 to those teams. How better can the sports car manufacturers put their message across than by winning races and championships? I have followed this ‘circus’ for more years than I wish to remember, originally as a Lotus fanatic, in the true term. I have enjoyed so many battles between drivers and teams, all at the cutting edge of development. However, in the name of cost-cutting, this edge has been eliminated, all teams must be on ‘a level playing field’ – the in-word – instead of extending knowledge. I have said before, and been jumped on by the unknowledgeable, that without this desire to improve road cars, F1 will die. Sadly, this is another nail in the coffin. F1 MUST get back to it’s origins to survive otherwise it will be just another formula in road car racing.

  53. Adam67 says:

    Ferrari are trying something to slant the playing field in their direction, and Redbull, as the champions and class of the field, feel forced to go with them to maintain parity. Redbull has a totally different business model to Ferrari, look at the difference in their products – they have to sell a crap-ton of fizzy drinks to be as good as they are and can’t afford to let Ferrari work an angle that gives them an unfair advantage.

    I now expect everyone else to follow – Merc won’t be happy with this, neither Renault as they both have cars to sell, and McLaren are NEARLY in WDC challenging form and can’t afford to let all these other guys do extra testing etc.

  54. Blaize says:

    Im happy for spewnding to go out of control , i would personally love 3 cars a team and leave the likes of marussia, HRT & sadly Caterham behind along with maybe a couple more and give the teams who can afford it an extra car and some more close competitive racing.

    As we are seeing this year there isn’t enough seats in fast teams for all the fast drivers out there.

    if this wre to happen we’d probably see Sutil in a mercedes or Di Resta. Perez in a ferrari.
    Grosjean Raikkonen and Senna in renaults. etc etc

    1. Cliff says:

      Spending out of control and 3 cars per team? The top three teams field 3 cars each (12 cars), abd we need 24. when you consider that it is probably only the top four who have their budgets under control and a good mix of sponsors, it would be interesting to know who you beleive would fill the remaining places. Just look how the like of Williams & Sauber had to work to fund their racing. As for the rest they almost appear to be racing from week to week on scarce resources. How is a 3 car per team series going to stimulate competion? Team Orders would be interesting to observe, but would they induce the racing we want? F1 needs a RRA. I never thought I would ever agree with Max, but he almost got it right on cost control (excluding the $40 cap), he recognised that the world was changing, we just need RBR and Ferrari to recognise this.

      1. Cliff says:

        Correction: $40m cap, I’d enter myself if it was $40

  55. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    James – are you able to shed any light as to how RBR could have overspent their limit? Is it just everything in general? Or are they arguing one type of spending should be excluded or reclassified?

  56. Liam in Sydney says:

    A note about RBR.

    What do we think about RBR in all this business?

    When you think about it, it is not in RBR’s interests to have the whole Resource Restriction fall over and then by default let the other large teams roll over them through superior testing/development resources.

    RBR has found some nice little loopholes that they have exploited to create a car that has, so far, been proven not to break any current F1 rules.

    By breaking up the current spending / development restrictions, they invite much larger organisations to beat them through sheer size and resources. Not through cleverness.

    What I am saying is don’t be too quick to generalise that Ferrari and RBR are simply out to grab the cash. Although they are being paid for this for sure, the back room deals will almost always be for things other than just more money.

    Think about it. :)

  57. Craig in Manila says:

    FOTA was/is always going to struggle to maintain “unity” when they are trying to keep teams like Ferrari (etc) happy at the same time that they are trying to keep teams like Marussia and HRT happy. The compromise needed to keep them all happy at once is simply too great.
    Obviously rather “odd” that both Ferrari and RBR have bailed-out at the same time and fair to say that it might’ve been orchestrated by some sort of puppet-master but fact is that both Teams feel that FOTA provides no value to them.
    Why be a member of an association if (1) there’s no perceived benefit in remaining a member and (2) the association cannot convince you to stay-on as a member ?

  58. Raymond Yu says:

    James, Speaking of the RRA; how does the RRA police “subcontracting?” For example.

    Say Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Technologies for example. I believe both are separate corporate entities. Correct me if I’m wrong. What if Newey, Marshall, Prodromou is paid hundreds of millions (I’m exaggerating) by Red Bull Technologies; which isn’t bound by the RRA (Red Bull Racing is instead). And then Red Bull Racing “buys” the RB7 and upgrade packages from Red Bull Technologies for a hundred quid a pop. How does that work out then?

    1. lecho says:

      They can also be contracted by Red Bull Technologies which could pay them huge salaries for doing their job for Red Bull Racing :) But I guess that if it would be that simple, everyone could be doing that.

  59. Michael Prestia says:

    The reality is that this organization like any other partnership-style union survives on the basis of mutual goals and trust. If one partner thinks another partner is screwing them over or is doing something beneficial to only them and not the group then there will be a whole lot of mistrust. Without trust you can not survive.

    I am not sure if this is true but there have been a lot of reports for a long while now about RB’s creative accounting.

    I am not sure why people are blaming Ferrari for not wanting to be apart of this organization when there is a whole lot of mistrust and after hours of negotiation no one can come to an agreement.

  60. Michele says:

    They should let the bigger teams spend as much as they want but driver aids for the bigger teams should be banned, that way the bigger teams can come up with new innovations especially teams like McLaren & Ferrari who make and design cars for the road. Only the smaller teams should be given driver aids like KERS, maybe a turbocharger for the V8′s and DRS to ensure they stay competitive and keep up with the bigger teams. Also teams should be given the right to have any engine they want to use as it is the Pinnacle of Motorsport, look at GT1 & GT3 and the racing is still tight with different types of engines (V12, V10, V8 etc..) Testing is definitely needed. Hopefully soon the teams can come to an agreement at some point.

  61. Stefanos says:

    Clearly, self-governance comes with huge caveats. It is a conflict of interest and is very difficult to get right. Look atht e press in the UK and the financial services industry in many developed countries.

    It probably shows why the teams should not end up with equity in the sport and rule collectively. It just won’t work. For a more relevant example look at the US and the NBA. The teams have managed to convince the press, though..

  62. robert says:

    I see that Toro Rosso are still in FOTA.

    Could there be a case for kicking them out as this will give Red Bull a clear advantage.

    They will have a say in FOTA, and be fully aprised of all the goings on with in it, whilst not being tied into any agreements made by it.

  63. Jason says:

    I disagree with comments that this proves a limit set by the FIA wouldn’t work.

    It would if it was implemented along with a vast reduction in the rule book…

    so rules go something like this:
    1. max spend $150
    2. max dimensions & weight
    3. Open top open wheel formula single seat
    4. Crash tests & driver protection zones stay as is
    5. All accounts to be submitted by season end + 1 month for external forensic audit
    6. Testing allowed but it comes out of the annual budget

    No its note exhautstive….

    But then genious engineers can come up with innovation that may actually get to invent something, and it’s allowed in the rules because its up to the engineers how they spend the money.

  64. Tiga says:

    Guys – enough already, look at the big picture. This is just great for The Off-Season Show. Here’s how it plays out:

    F1 – The Bold and the Beautiful…

    Story so far: Bottom line – it seems Red Bull has been cheating on the unenforceable agreement, and wants to continue doing so. Why have the best aero guy in the world if he can’t play with his toys enough… and Ferrari doesn’t want to have to play with one hand tied behind its back, especially with the Fiorano test track sitting idle.

    See next episode: With Arabs writing the checks for McLaren why would they care, except, awkwardly but incidentally, their guy found that when the music last stopped, he was FOTA chairman. This leaves Mercedes without a bottomless money pit, and the rest who can’t afford to spend to the limit anyway. So the pecking order looks much the same, but the sound of Euros circling the drain is getting louder….

    Season finale: Bernie comes riding in with some outlandish proposal for the future that will have the teams circling the wagons and scurrying back together, saving the day. After all, why would he want them spending all that money on engineering, when it could be aiding his pursuit of Carlos Slim….

    Footnote: In a parallel universe, writers are working on the sequel… dubbed “F1 – the breakaway” with a working title from the sixties: “Intercontinental Formula”, with the same predictable results as that non-epic…

    Disclaimer: The FIA is contracted to a different production company specializing in silent movies only, and has nothing to do with anything outside Paris.

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