I’ve just been invited to a press conference in Geneva on March 5th, where FOTA president Luca di Montezemolo will outline what the members of the Formula One Teams’ Association have been discussing lately. It’s been very intense behind the scenes, with all the teams heavily involved in discussions covering all areas of the sport.
The invite says, “Luca di Montzemolo, the FOTA president, will make a speech in which he will unveil FOTA’s plans for the future of Formula 1.
These plans are the result of a series of meetings held over the past few weeks and months, all of them with a common goal: to make Formula 1 commercially sustainable, environmentally friendly and compellingly attractive for spectators, TV viewers and internet consumers alike for years to come.”
As I see it, FOTA want to work together with Bernie Ecclestone’s organisation to improve the show, the turnover and the media reach of the sport and collaborate with the FIA and Max Mosley to come up with rules which make F1 sustainable and entertaining. The vibes I get are that both men think that there are some big advantages to dealing with one man, Montezemolo, who represents all the teams, it takes out a lot of the politics and nonsense of the past. That said, the teams’ demands are more than either Mosley and Ecclestone want to give away, so there is a serious negotiation to be had here. Rules wise it’s about 2010 and the longer future, money wise it’s about 2013 onwards, when the current deals expire.
On paper FOTA is the best thing that’s happened to the sport in decades and now FOTA has decided to become more than just a private members club for F1 team members and to become a public facing organisation at last.
Initially the senior FOTA figures I spoke to back in September were not sure whether they would ever become public facing, but now they have decided to deal out on the open, which can only be a good thing for you the fans.