The FIA has issued a statement reacting to the BMW withdrawal from F1.
As you can imagine they feel more than a little vindicated by this, as they have been warning for some time that the sport had become ‘unsustainable’ due to high costs and needed to be protected from manufacturers who come and go when it suits them.
Ironically the costs are now set to come down dramatically, so arguably they are not the main driver behind this withdrawal.
FIA president Max Mosley had quite a good relationship with some members of the BMW board and always said that he felt their participation in future could not be guaranteed despite what team principal Mario Theissen might have said.
Here’s the FIA statement in full:
“The FIA regrets the announcement of BMW’s intended withdrawal from Formula One but is not surprised by it.
It has been clear for some time that motor sport cannot ignore the world economic crisis.
Car manufacturers cannot be expected to continue to pour large sums of money into Formula One when their survival depends on redundancies, plant closures and the support of the taxpayer.
This is why the FIA prepared regulations to reduce costs drastically. These measures were needed to alleviate the pressure on manufacturers following Honda’s withdrawal but also to make it possible for new teams to enter.
Had these regulations not been so strongly opposed by a number of team principals, the withdrawal of BMW and further such announcements in the future might have been avoided.
Nevertheless, as a result of a sustained cost-cutting campaign by the FIA, new measures are in the process of being agreed which should make it easier for new teams to enter and enable existing ones to participate on much reduced budgets.
It is no secret that these measures do not go as far as the FIA would have liked but a compromise was needed in the interests of harmony in the sport. Hopefully it will be enough to prevent further withdrawals and provide a solid foundation for Formula One.
As the guardian of the sport, the FIA is committed to ensuring that Formula One remains financially sustainable for all competing teams and it will always act to ensure that this remains the case. “