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Posts Tagged ‘fota’

Stop!! Who cares about this shit? What about the racing?

July 8th, 2009 No comments

Kazuki Nakajima, Monaco, 2009I couldn’t agree more with Mr Saward. In a great post on his blog (with an awesome URL, check it out), Joe Saward sums up the thoughts of Formula One fans everywhere.

This comes after the news that the rotting zombie corpse that is the FIA/FOTA war has broken through the coffin of the WMSC agreement of last month, clawed its way up through the earth and is now stumbling lopsided down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, hungry for brains.

Today the FIA issued a press release after the teams met at the Nürburgring to try to agree on a final set of regulations for 2010.  It starts off positively with the following:

All changes have now been agreed subject only to the maintenance of the minimum weight at 620 kg and the signing of a legally binding agreement between all the teams competing in 2010 to reduce costs to the level of the early 1990s within two years, as promised by the FOTA representative in Paris on 24 June.

Great!  But wait!  What’s this next paragraph?

The eight FOTA teams were invited to attend the meeting to discuss their further proposals for 2010. Unfortunately no discussion was possible because FOTA walked out of the meeting.

WTF?  Seriously, WTF!?!

FOTA subsequently issued their version of events.

During the course of this meeting, the team managers were informed by Mr Charlie Whiting of the FIA that, contrary to previous agreements, the eight FOTA teams are not currently entered into the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship and have no voting rights in relation to the technical and sporting regulations thereof.

This is just bizarre.

So the FOTA teams are not entered into the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship?  Then what the hell was that list the FIA published on 24 June? This one here.  The one that says “The following teams have been accepted for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship” and then goes on to list the 13 teams, including all FOTA teams.

I can’t say it any better than Joe.

Stop!! Who cares about this shit? What about the racing?

Image: Williams

Categories: Opinion Tags: , ,

Mosley: Now we have peace

June 24th, 2009 No comments

Max MosleyCommon sense seems to have finally prevailed.  It is being reported that an agreement has been reached between FOTA, who had threatened to form a breakaway championship, and the FIA, who had threatened to sue them if they did.

Apparently Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 commercial rights holder, and Luca di Montezemolo, the FOTA chairman, held a series of meetings last night and this morning before today’s World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris.  These culminated in an agreement by the FOTA teams to not start a breakaway series and by FIA president, Max Mosley, to not stand for re-election in October.

After an initially hostile response to the FOTA breakaway announcement last Friday, where Mosley threatened to take legal action against the teams, he seemed to soften his stance during the British Grand Prix weekend when he realised FOTA wasn’t bluffing.  The signs in the grandstands supporting FOTA and calling for him and Bernie to go couldn’t have helped either.

There was a brief flash of defiance from Max on Tuesday when a letter he wrote to FIA member clubs was leaked:

This is an attack on the FIA’s right to regulate its Formula One World Championship but, worse, it is a wholly unjustified criticism of and direct challenge to the entire structure and purpose of the FIA.

No president of the FIA could allow this to go unanswered. I have therefore responded on your behalf (see attachments). We are also preparing legal proceedings in case these are needed to protect the FIA’s rights in its Championship and to discourage any dissident Formula One team from engaging in illegal acts.

In it, he also hinted he would stand for re-election again in October:

I must now reflect on whether my original decision not to stand for re-election was indeed the right one.

Now it seems he will stand down as FIA president as originally planned.  Mosley is quoted by the BBC as saying:

There will be no split. We have agreed to a reduction of costs. There will be one F1 championship but the objective is to get back to the spending levels of the early 90s within two years.

I will not be up for re-election, now we have peace.

Frankly, I’m a bit surprised.  Of course, a split would have been the worst of all possible outcomes but the way FOTA were talking it was starting to seem like a breakaway was inevitable.  I suppose that’s why Max eventually caved.

It is obvious that Bernie Ecclestone played a central role in this outcome.  As he said:

My marriage broke up because of Formula One, so I am sure as hell not going to let things disintegrate over what is, in the end, basically nothing.

Categories: News Tags: , ,

FOTA teams to set up breakaway series in 2010

June 18th, 2009 No comments

FOTA logoWell that’s that, then.  Nobody backed down.

After a four hour meeting at the Renault factory in Enstone, the eight FOTA teams (BMW-Sauber, BrawnGP, Scuderia Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Renault, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Toyota) have decided that they are unwilling to sign up unconditionally to the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championhip and therefore have no choice but to begin planning their own breakaway series.

Here is the full statement:

FOTA UNITED ON THE FUTURE

Silverstone, 18 June 2009 – Since the formation of FOTA last September the teams have worked together and sought to engage the FIA and commercial rights holder, to develop and improve the sport.

Unprecedented worldwide financial turmoil has inevitably placed great challenges before the F1 community. FOTA is proud that it has achieved the most substantial measures to reduce costs in the history of our sport.

In particular the manufacturer teams have provided assistance to the independent teams, a number of which would probably not be in the sport today without the FOTA initiatives. The FOTA teams have further agreed upon a substantial voluntary cost reduction that provides a sustainable model for the future.

Following these efforts all the teams have confirmed to the FIA and the commercial rights holder that they are willing to commit until the end of 2012.

The FIA and the commercial rights holder have campaigned to divide FOTA.

The wishes of the majority of the teams are ignored. Furthermore, tens of millions of dollars have been withheld from many teams by the commercial rights holder, going back as far as 2006. Despite this and the uncompromising environment, FOTA has genuinely sought compromise.

It has become clear however, that the teams cannot continue to compromise on the fundamental values of the sport and have declined to alter their original conditional entries to the 2010 World Championship.

These teams therefore have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new Championship which reflects the values of its participants and partners. This series will have transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide, partners and other important stakeholders.

The major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series.

Your move, Max.

Update: The FIA have responded.

Categories: News Tags: , ,

FOTA teams commit to 2010

May 29th, 2009 No comments

FOTA logoAll the current Formula One teams have submitted conditional entries to compete in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Ferrari and some other teams had previously threatened to pull out of Formula One if the new regulations were not changed.  On Monday Williams lodged their 2010 application, and in so doing were suspended from FOTA.

It seems the outcome of negotiations between FOTA and the FIA is that the current 2009 rules will continue in return for the teams signing a new Concorde Agreement to commit to racing until 2012.

In a press release on the FOTA website, the Teams Association said:

All FOTA Teams have today submitted conditional entries for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.

FOTA confirms all its Members’ long-term commitment to be involved in the FIA Formula One World Championship and has unanimously agreed further and significant actions to substantially reduce the costs of competing in the Championship in the next three years, creating a mechanism that will preserve the technological competition and the sporting challenge and, at the same time, facilitate the entry in the F1 Championship for new Teams. These measures are in line with what has been already decided in 2009 within FOTA, achieving important savings on engines and gearboxes.

All FOTA teams have entered the 2010 championship on the basis that:

1) The Concorde Agreement is signed by all parties before 12th June 2009, after which all FOTA teams will commit to competing in Formula One until 2012. The renewal of the Concorde Agreement will provide security for the future of the sport by binding all parties in a formal relationship that will ensure stability via sound governance.

2) The basis of the 2010 regulations will be the current 2009 regulations, amended in accordance with proposals that FOTA has submitted to the FIA.

All FOTA teams’ entries for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship have been submitted today on the understanding that (a) all FOTA teams will be permitted to compete during the 2010 Formula One Season on an identical regulatory basis and (b) that they may only be accepted as a whole.

All FOTA teams now look forward with optimism to collaborating proactively and productively with the FIA, with a view to establishing a solid foundation on which the future of a healthy and successful Formula One can be built, providing lasting stability and sound governance.

Categories: News Tags: ,

Williams suspended from Teams Association

May 28th, 2009 No comments

Patrick Head and Sir Frank WilliamsTen months.  That is how long the unprecedented unity among the teams in Formula One lasted.

A series of meetings in Monaco over the weekend culminated in a letter from FOTA to FIA president Max Mosley asking for the new 2010 regulations to be revoked.

The letter claimed all the teams were unified in asked for the existing rules to be retained and for the teams to work on further cost reductions next year, as Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali explained:

What we have asked is basically to go back to the rules of this year, the 2009 rules, and then see together what we can do in order to make changes for next year.

Then on Monday morning, Williams announced that they had lodged their application with the FIA to race in the 2010 Championship.

On Wednesday, the Teams Association decided temporarily to suspend Williams F1 from membership of FOTA.

It’s not really surprising that Williams has decided to commit to 2010.  Unlike teams such as Renault and BMW, Williams is a true independent racing team.  Formula One is their whole reason for existence.  They aren’t bank rolled by a billionaire like Force India or Red Bull / Toro Rosso, either.

Team boss, Sir Frank Williams:

As a racing team and a company whose only business is Formula One, with obligations to our partners and our employees, submitting our entry to next year’s championship was unquestionable.

Sir Frank also highlighted a contractual obligation which seems to be what Bernie Ecclestone was hinting at when he said he expected Ferrari to honour their contract:

In addition, we are legally obliged under our contract with FOM and the FIA to participate in the world championship until the end of 2012.

The deadline for applications to be received for the 2010 Championship is Friday with the FIA due to release details of the entry list on June 12.

So far only Williams, USF1 and Campos Racing, to be known as Campos Meta 1, have lodged applications for 2010 but it is starting to look likely that a compromise deal will be done where a budget cap of €100m will be introduced in 2010, falling to €45m in 2011.

Image: Williams

Categories: Teams Tags: , ,
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