We’ve had a great response to the post about what the teams mean to F1, some great thoughts.
Picking up on Max Mosley’s analogy of F1 as being like a restaurant we had this very well considered contribution from Bradley,
“The restaurant at Le Mans is open for 24 Hours and remains great, no matter who the diners are.
“Ferrari ate there for a while and left, so did Mercedes, BMW, Toyota and others, then they left too. And the race stayed great.
“I’d suggest that, as long as there are diners coming to the restaurant, it doesn’t matter who they are (although Ferrari should always be allowed their favourite table).
“Equally, even if Max didn’t choose the best metaphor, it doesn’t mean that, to quote another commentator, the turkeys should be allowed to run Christmas, in other words, that his point is wrong.
“Equally, apart from Toyota, every manufacturer team is, deep down, a re-badged racing team – Renault was Benetton and before that Toleman, BMW was Sauber, Red Bull was Jaguar/Stewart, and Toro Rosso Minardi.
“Even if the manufacturers aren’t in F1, I’d imagine those groups of people and skills will be.
“And F1 isn’t any greater because the Benetton team is called Renault, or Sauber called BMW.”
My colleague Michael Schmidt of Auto Motor und Sport has jogged my memory of something I looked at around the time when the Formula One Teams Association was formed, last September.
I remember asking Ron Dennis how the FOTA teams were going to make sure that Ferrari didn’t repeat what it had done in 2005 and split off to side with the FIA when it suited them. He replied that Ferrari was looking at things quite differently now and that in any case the manufacturers had all agreed to bind themselves to each other by agreeing a fine if one of them broke away.
Michael has written today that the fine is €50 million. Now I think about it, this has to be considered central to the way FOTA is conducting itself at the moment. In other words the five teams; Ferrari, McLaren Mercedes, Toyota, Renault and BMW Sauber are a block.
But the fact remains that if the FIA goes to court and can prove that Ferrari has a binding contract to race in F1 in 2010 then the game will be up for the others.