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F1 battle lines are drawn

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Andrew Benson | 11:42 UK time, Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Ferrari's threat to quit Formula 1 over plans for a budget cap and two-tier championship in 2010 will appear shocking to many - that, after all, is the idea. To those more familiar with the sport's intricate politics, though, the biggest surprise may well be that it took them so long to say it.

F1's history is littered with examples of Ferrari threatening to pull out if they did not get their way over some rules row or other. In the late '80s, in one of the most notorious, they went as far as building their own IndyCar to underline their point. Yet they remain the only team to have competed every year since the start of the F1 world championship in 1950.

That is why few people within F1 will think there is any realistic chance Ferrari will not be on the grid next year.

That is not to say, however, that Ferrari's threat is not serious, nor that this is not a serious situation. In both cases, it is.

The new rules proposed for 2010 have got everyone in F1 exercised - and every single team opposes at least one of the two main changes.

Max Mosley, the FIA president (pictured), has forced through regulations that a) introduce a voluntary £40m budget cap; and b) give greater technical freedom to those teams who choose to operate within it.

Max Mosley

The rules are framed - deliberately - to give a significant performance advantage to those teams who do choose to accept the FIA limits, with initial estimates suggesting said advantage is up to three seconds a lap.

Ferrari - along with other major teams such as McLaren-Mercedes, Toyota and BMW - accept the need for costs to come down. They have already reduced their spending significantly, and are working on other proposals to ensure they continue to do so.

But they are not ready to meet Mosley at his £40m mark - even though driver salaries and marketing are not included in that cap.

They do not want to make hundreds of employees redundant; they do not think it is any of the FIA's business to tell a major corporation how to spend its money; and they do not want the FIA poking around in their accounts.

What makes this such a delicate situation, though, is that not all the teams are approaching it from the same position.

Ferrari want neither the cap nor the two-tier championship. All the other teams are implacably opposed to two sets of rules, but are more malleable - to a greater or lesser extent - on the subject of a cap, although many believe the figure should be higher. And Williams, Brawn and Force India - the teams with the smallest budgets - are all believed to be behind the £40m limit.

In theory, this plays into the hands of Mosley and his partner-in-arms, F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone. Their modus operandi for ruling F1 has long been divide and conquer, and on the face of it they have the teams where they want them.

If the teams are not united, one might think, how can they hope to win a stand-off?

Mosley's argument is that the budget cap is the only way F1 can survive the credit crunch relatively unscathed. He believes several of the major car manufacturers are poised to quit the sport at the end of the year - with Toyota, BMW and Renault the hottest candidates - and he says F1 is out of reach to new teams if it does not become more affordable to run a competitive car.

The FIA accepts the two-tier championship is an imperfect solution, but says it is a necessary, temporary evil while F1 makes itself fit for purpose.

But the risk is that, by pressing ahead with his plans, Mosley's claim of potential manufacturer withdrawals becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy - one precipitated by his plans for change, not by the companies themselves.

There is also the wider question of the future direction of F1. In this, the teams - represented by their umbrella organisation Fota - and the FIA have diametrically opposed philosophies.


Fota's position was summed up eloquently by my colleague Mark Hughes in Autosport magazine last week:

"Yes, the teams should get a greater share of the revenue, no the sport should not be owned by a venture capital company that squeezes half the sport's profit out of it, no the traditional venues should not be priced out of the championship, no it should not be so stupidly expensive for fans to attend a grand prix, no F1 should never be about spec cars or engines, yes F1 should be represented in North America, no it shouldn't be going to places where no-one wants to come and watch."

Usually, the way these things play out is predictable. Mosley comes up with an extreme suggestion that provokes the teams into action. They argue for a bit. Mosley waters down his position a little. The teams grumble a bit but accept it. And everyone goes away until the next political crisis - usually precipitated by another FIA initiative - starts the whole process again.

But this time it might be different.

For one thing, the teams have in recent years been getting increasingly aggravated by Mosley's constant changing of the rules. They want stable regulations and a level playing field.

For another, the teams remain determined to keep Fota together in the face of Mosley and Ecclestone's politicking - and if they can manage that then Mosley has to listen.

But most significant of all is the position of Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo as chairman of Fota.

Until very recently, Ferrari were at loggerheads with the other teams and more often than not in Ecclestone and Mosley's camp on most political battles. But not any more.
Now, Mosley finds Montezemolo on the other side of the battlefield and it is almost certainly not a comfortable feeling for either man.

These two are political heavyweights, neither of whom is used to losing, and it is going to be fascinating to see who comes out on top.

For all his grandstanding, Mosley knows F1 cannot afford to lose Ferrari - not when surveys suggest that a third of all fans at grands prix are there to watch them.

So the question is, what is better for F1? A championship without Ferrari - and Toyota - with a grid filled out by privateers such as Prodrive and USGP, run to a formula for essentially standard cars with rules manipulated on the whim of the FIA? Or fewer new teams in a more transparent championship with more stable rules and a parachute down to a more affordable budget over a number of years?

There will be a number of meetings over the coming weeks, there is a deadline of 29 May for teams to enter next year's championship, and we can expect many more public utterances from the parties involved.

Eventually, almost certainly, a compromise will be reached, one that keeps Ferrari on board.

But things might get bloody before F1 gets there.


Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    As mentioned in the blog this is not the first time Ferrari have threatened to pull out of F1. However, this is the first time that I completely agree with them.

    A two tier championship would be disastrous. Mosely argues that it is a necessary evil for F1 to survive. However I do not belive that F1 would survive if this came into place as the level of support would dwindle dramatically. Who really wants to see a two tier championship? In recent years it has happened to the British Touring Car Championship and it suffered a hefty blow.

    Surely the sensible thing would be to keep working on reducing costs for the next couple of seasons and then introduce a budget cap that is agreed by FOTA and the FIA in 2012?

  • Comment number 2.

    I have been astounded for some time, that the teams have put up with Ecclestone & Mosley's dictatorship. You'd only have to share out Bernie's ridiculous cut of the profit and you could increase the cap without it costing a penny from anyone's pocket.... never mind leaving tracks like silverstone with some profit to spend on improvements!

    Only a shame that FOTA has about as much chance of agreeing a fair set of regulations as I have of funding my own team!

    Perhaps we could save another couple of quid by not having to drive round on the wrong tyres!!!! (or does Mr Ecclestone have shares in Bridgestone?)

  • Comment number 3.

    this threat to quit formula 1 by Ferrari is just another one of their ways of getting their own way. This season it has been nice to see other teams winning and not have Ferrari on the podium at every race. If they want to quit let them there are plenty of other teams and drivers that will carry on formula 1

  • Comment number 4.

    Shocking behaviour from Ferrari. They have thrown all of the toys out of the pram because of a rule that does not suit them. They have a perceived failure to understand how a global economic situation affects formula 1 and this reaction does nothing more than to make them look childish.

    For years formula one has needed a massive shake up and finally we've got it coming. It cannot continue to be so divisive between rich and poor(er) teams. Moreover, Ferrari cannot expect one rule for them and one for everyone else and they definitely cannot expect the whole of F1 to bow to their demands as it is not a one team sport.

    The future's Branson.

  • Comment number 5.

    Good blog Andrew and thoroughly enjoyable read. I've watched F1 for a good few years now and as you say I can remember a few empty threats coming from Ferrari but it seems different this time. More serious. The FIA can't change the rules every year as drastically as they have been and expect everyone to go along with it just because the FIA says so. I just hope that FOTA gets their act together and agrees on what they want so they are united against the FIA rather than letting the FIA split them into smaller factions.

    And as for your colleague Mark Hughes' comments in Autosport i'd have to agree with everything he's said. Absolutely spot on, the FIA and Bernie's Boys Club that runs F1 couldn't give a monkey's about the teams, the fans or anyone else, they've got their eyes firmly fixed on the dollar bills and that's all they'll ever care about.

  • Comment number 6.

    Lol go Formula 1, It's getting that bad I prefere to watch the highlights from the 1980's the bbc are showing on this website than the actual races nowadays, as for the budget cap and what not, I don't agree with it, formula one teams should be able to spend what they want It is after all the pinnacle of motor sport and a lot of what they develope trickles down to road cars for you and I, so let them spend, as long as I get my ABS and traction control I'm not bothered.

  • Comment number 7.

    Ferrari are just upset because they can't spend spend spend their way to the World Championship anymore.

  • Comment number 8.

    Am I being a bit dense? Can anyone explain to me why the teams want to spend more money to make slower cars? Surely F1 is about technical excellence and innovation (demonstrated by quicker lap times) not a competition to see who can make the most expensive car. Are there other restrictions that come with the budget cap that are not getting talked about (I could understand forcing Ferrari to use a Cosworth engine would not go down well in Maranello!)

  • Comment number 9.

    Very ineresting blog, Andrew.
    Could the final outcome not be even more serious? As KnuttyBoy says - the manufacturers and private teams are currently engaged in an enterprise where Bernie takes a massive cut and I can't see this being sustained. It's difficult to argue that the teams have to fundamentaly change their business approach while Bernie continues to walk away with those profits.
    Remember the proposed alternative manufacturers' series?

  • Comment number 10.

    A question Way back in 1988, wasn't there some sort of two tier system regarding the use of turbos.
    A comment. This season has been intersting in that we have new teams & faces doing well. Goes to show that it is really the car not the driver who wins the championship. I'm a long term Ferarri fan, yet I find it a refreshing to see others leading the charge.


  • Comment number 11.

    F1 is a farce and increasingly so.

    The last two seasons have been absolutely sensational in spite of the FIA and its meddling.

    This season already has all the hallmarks of being a procession and I've already stopped concentrating on it as a result.

    It is good to see different faces and cars competing for the podium. It's just a pity that this situation has had to be contrived.

    A £40m budget cap or a two tier championship? Neither, simple as that. I'll tune back in when F1 returns.

  • Comment number 12.

    It is fantastic to see Brawn GP and Red Bull challenge the established teams this year, but would they have been so successful in developing their 2009 car on a budget of GBP40m?? Ross Brawn has already stated this year that to comply with the cap that the team at Brawn GP will be reduced, so will that impact on the performance of their cars in the coming years, will we see a reduction in the technology that F1 has produced over the years.

  • Comment number 13.

    Is it only me that sees a conflict of interest having Montezemolo as head of FOTA?
    Anyway, what makes me laugh more is this concern over a two-tier championship. F1 has had a two-tier championship for over a decade! Only Ferrarri, McLaren or maybe another team could win the championship. The others were there to fight amongst the scraps.
    The only reason that Ferrari are threatening to leave F1 is because they no longer have the monopoly on races and can now be beaten fair an square.

    I for one am all for standardisation of the funds available to the teams. Ideally F1 should be in a situation where on race weekend any one of the drivers could win the race. At the moment there is too much reliance on the car's technologies, though I have to admit this year has been a VAST improvement with good racing going on.

    Greatest moment last year though has to be when Ferrari were jumping up and down for victory...only to be told Hamilton won it. BAAAaaaaahahahahahahaha! Classic!

    Remember F1 is all about the racing and this year we've already seen more racing than the entire season last year, so F1 must be heading in the right direction....

  • Comment number 14.

    The technology developed in F1 is not only used in road cars further down the line but it also finds its way into all sorts of other aspects of life. In that way the teams work as a research centre for the manufacturers.

    Personally I'd like to see a stable set of regulations where innovation is needed to improve performance. When the regulations change so much its more luck than judgement, and the team with the best first guess will win! If they want to set a budget cap then the rules should remain the same for at least a few years first.

  • Comment number 15.

    Of course it all depends on what you want in F1. Is about the car, the driver or both.

    If the driver then you end up like Nascar - very very similar cars, have not produced a technical innovation in years, although interestingly are very good on safety (I think the HANS system was their innovation). Massive entertainment but lets be honest the actual standard of the drivers is only very rarely up to F1 standards.

    That seems to be the road that the Max/Bernie show is driving down. Well both of them are well past their sell by date. Max is no longer (if he ever was) fit for the job and Bernie sole existence now seems to be to collect money from F1.

    Brawn have shown that you do not have to have the biggest budget to produce a great car as long as you have access to a sufficiently powerful and reliable engine and quality drivers. We do need to get back to the position where it is not the budgets but the quality of the engineers that delivers the best car but budgetary caps (whether £40 mil or 100 mil) are not the way forward. Of course the main reason for proposing the cap is nothing to do with what is right for the sport but to grab more power for FIA/Max over the teams.

  • Comment number 16.

    Good blog. I believe the teams should have a budget cap, so new teams can come in and be running at a relativley decent pace. I reckon the cap will be around the 100 million mark. Will Ferrari agree to a such a cap?
    Who knows, we will soon find out. Thats if the cap is introduced for next year. There is going to be lots of things happening from now until the deadline at the end of May. I think Ferarri should agree to some sort of cap, they are definetly throwing a bit of a wobbler no doubt about it. As for the two tier championship, well its not a good idea, but i dont actually think we will have a two tier, because the idea is to get them all to agree to some sort of cap. It is interesting thats for sure, for someone like me who loves F1 and have done for as long as I can remember. It is exciting stuff. Rather bit confusing for the general viewing public who dont read into it so much, and you would have to say thats a bit of a concern. But what has to be done is being done I guess. For the future of what F1 will become.

  • Comment number 17.

    The obvious thing to do is to raise the budget cap to around 60-80m and to get rid of the two tier non-sense.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm no Ferrari fan but I think it would be a shame if the team left the sport over such a farcical argument. A two-tier championship would be utterly ridiculous. But having said that, a winner-takes-all medals-style championship rather than the current points system would also be massively detrimental to the sport, and that doesn't stop Bernie Ecclestone pushing for it.
    As previous commenters have noted, Ecclestone and Mosley clearly care only for the money and couldn't care less about the sport itself, the teams, the drivers or the fans.
    I agree with the point made above just raise the budget cap a bit and stop talking about a two-tier championship which would ultimately make a mockery of Formula 1.

  • Comment number 19.

    Everyone is foucusing on Ferrari and have forgotten that both Toyota a major big budget team and red bull an independent team have also threatened to withdrawl from F1 if the budget cap leads to a two tier championship. This would mean four less teams on the grid (Torro Rosso funded by red bull) with a possible 3 teams to come in we would still be down to a 9 team championship.
    I do not like Ferrari but in this instance I do support them to a point I feel a budget cap would be the best way to increase competition between all the teams but not to the extent of a 2-tier championship. If there is an opt out for the cap then the only advantages team who adhere to the cap are allowed more pre-season testing and a greater share of the F1 pot. No technical advantages should be allowed and the same testing rules once the season has begun.

  • Comment number 20.

    Ferrari has for many years been treated as if special, and there are 2 sides to the argument.

    However what many of the commentators seem to miss is that Ferrari receives special payments from F1 organisers denied to all other teams. I cant remember the actual amount but it is something in the order of $50 million, that hardly seems fair reasonable on conducive to a level playing field in the sport. i.e. It is already a 2 tier series Ferrari and everyone else.

    Where F1 as a sport has gone wrong is that those with the deepest pockets are set always to be at the top of the tree. Not the cleverest team, not the team that thinks outside the box, talent doesnt come into it just how deep are your pockets.

    In recent history to be a top team meant to have the biggest budget. This plays into Ferraris hands as the F1 pays them this special payment just because they are Ferrari.

    Maybe what will happen in this instance is that the budget cap goes and Ferrari loses its special Ferrari bonus. That in the long term will not help as there are not enough teams on the grid to make up a series and it is too expensive to come in and compete.

    Those worried about a 2 tier system should also remember it is not to far back that F1 had formula 3 cars on the same starting grid just to make up the numbers.

    If you look at the cap as proposed, it doesnt include engines, drivers or marketing/hospitality.

  • Comment number 21.

    It's about time the teams took charge of the sport ... FIA (Max Moseley) and Little Bernie have run the show for too long now.

    MM seems to forget that these teams employ people with families .. what are the teams to do, just lay everyone off because MM and FIA say so ? Who's going to pay all those redundancy costs ? Where are these guys going to get jobs ? Meglomaniacs, both of them !

    FOTA .. form your own championship, at proper traditional racing venues, take the majority of the TV reveues etc and split it fairly between the teams. Without a Venture Capital Bank taking half the revenues they'd be much better off with a bigger affordable budget cap.

    Bernie and Max have got very rich off the backs of F1

  • Comment number 22.

    F1 is about technical excelence not who can drum up the largest budget. It is unfortunate that people will loose their jobs, but the introduction of several new teams would create opportunities for a large number of them. You can understand why Ferarri want to continue with unlimited budgets, because they want to continue with an unfair advantage. Who wouldn't. It is not difficult to see that Bernie Ecclestone is motivated by nothing but money. One of the wealthiest people in this country supposidly an F1 enthusiast, instead of supporting and helping to save the British Grand Prix is hell bent on removing it from the calendar. The removal of races from European historical circuits has coincided with the ban on tobacco advertising in Europe. If Silversone is so poor and has such terrible facilities why do we still have a race at Monaco which has by far the worst safety, pit lane and paddock facilities? Oh yes, Money, I forgot for a moment.

    The sport is disapearing up its own ego centric behind. The people running it are incapable of seeing that no one cares about wind tunnels and sterile circuits in far flung corners of the world. People want to see close racing, and drivers pushing themselves to the limit. No one really cares about the teams.

    Ferarri need to remember when considering quitting F1 that they were responsible for the most boring one sided period in the sports history with their team orders and even going as far as to write it in the contract of the number 2 driver that they are not allowed to beat Schumacher. If they leave it will be to the benefit of the sport not the detrement. F1 has survived without Lotus and all of the other teams of the past. Ferarri would be no different.

  • Comment number 23.

    Interesting article. Although the arguement outlined seems to suggest that all this debate will end up a bit of a moot point, with a lot of arguing and posturing before everyone settles on a third solution.

    The comment on Ferrari designing an Indy car in the 80's is interesting as in some respects this attempt to homogenise the cars will result in F1 becoming dangerously similar to Champ cars or A1GP. (So really Ferrari should be happy as they've already designed theirs!!!).

    Seriously though, the idea of doing this sounds wholely out of keeping with the spirit of F1. Surely the very essence is as much a test on the engineering skills of the team as it is on the skills of the drivers.

    This season shows that you don't need the biggest budget to be a success and every season with Toyota (and BAR) shows budget is no guarantee even without massive rule changes.

    Yes it would be good to get more independent teams able to afford to enter but I don't think forcing the teams into the change is beneficial. These other independents all currently have teams in lower formulas but the way to get them involved shouldn't be to devalue F1 as the pinicle of motorsport to the level of these other championships.

    it's a bit like saying breeding is too expensive for most to enter horse racing so from next year, it's donkey's all round!

  • Comment number 24.

    F1 can survive without Ferrari - thats it

  • Comment number 25.

    Thank you for the explanation Andrew. I'm surprised you dont really touch on the almost evil hold Ecclestone has over F1.

    A drastic solution would be for all the teams to leave F1 as its currently working and create a new F1 without the loss of income to Bernie and his cronies.

    Yes it is time for change....The change is get rid of Ecclestone who has come to the end of his useful shelf life. he has made his money and should now be retired.

  • Comment number 26.

    Excellent blog article Andrew

    Mosley and Ecclestone are failing in their duty of care to the sport which they both take make Millions out of ... using the economic climate as justification for this budget cap is bending the facts of this economic crisis - Governments of the world are supporting their economies with hard cash to encourage a return to growth - they don't cut off their ability to trade. Mosley's logic and reasoning is flawed.

    I've never been a big Ferrari fan - their close alliance with the FIA since the Schumacher years has been testament to their approach to racing - win at all costs - at the expense of the rest of the grid if necessary. The rest of the grid understand that - its all part of the game. What shocks me most of all is that Mosley seems to have washed his hands of Ferrari and dismissed their involvement in the sport. The history of Ferrari IS the history of Formula One - like it or not.

    When the FIA used Ferrari to kill off the threat of a breakaway series at the end of the last Concorde agreement it failed because even with an uneven playing field heavily loaded in favour of Ferrari the other teams knew that F1 without Ferrari would not survive so the rest of the teams re-signed.

    Now their grace and favour position has been all but killed off Ferrari and the rest of the teams are right to make a stance against the FIA. The Governement's of the world are sinking trillions of dollars into supporting their flagging economy - after all, the FIA and FOC took millions of dollars out of the teams during the good times - perhaps Mosley and Ecclestone should support Formula One with hard cash rather than attempt to destroy it with the confrontational approach he has adopted. The credit crunch will pass in 2 or 3 years. Taking a sledge hammer to the sport is plain wrong.

    I'll watch events over the next few weeks with great interest.

  • Comment number 27.

    This just proves that Moseley and Ecclestone have lost the plot yet again. How can they run a championship that isn't fair and equal to all entrants. It's just like the points argument that is changing next year. If it came in this year Button might be World Champion mid way through the season instead of the last 2 years going down to the last race.

    Why does the FIA spend all it's time changing the rules in F1 and no other motorsport it has control of!!?

    I don't see why the teams haven't grouped themselves together and created their own operating company and then start up a rival/ their own championship so then they can take and share all the profits and plough them back into the teams that race helping with the tracks and reducing the stupid prices fans have to pay.

    Why have a cap at all. It doesn't mean you will win the championship. Look at some of the football teams that spend 100's of millions and don't win.

  • Comment number 28.

    Well news has just filtered through that Renault have also issued a similar statement signalling their intention to pull out of F1 as well if the rules are not changed. If you add to this the probable loss of Toyota who have said that they would not compete under those rules, if not formally, then this is a completely different picture. F1 no matter what Mosley says, cannot be anywhere near the spectacle of motor racing if we lose teams like Ferrari, Toyota, Renault and possibly BMW and Red Bull (who are opposed to the two tier championship), and replace them with Prodrive and some other small teams? F1 is the top tier of motor racing and should be about finding the edge in performance, and squeezing one tenth of a second over your rivals through the regulations. If you say there should be a £40m cap on spending, then it is clearly unfair on teams like Ferrari and McClaren who for years have operated on a budget nearer £300 million. So for this I can see why Ferrari and others are against it as although I agree they need to reduce costs, asking a team to jump to just over 10% of its budget in one season is ridiculous. Cost-cutting should continue, but I feel that what needs to be maintained is formula one itself with teams going full pelt to find the quickest car possible given the regulations. Mosley is going the right way about it to kill F1, one of my favourite sports.

  • Comment number 29.

    F1 is a two tier sport, this is nothing new.

    Currently we have KERS vs Non-KERS or double deck diffusers. Look back at the history of the sport, Active suspension Vs passive, Turbo Vs Normally aspirated, ground effect cars and a host of other technologies have come and gone. F1 has always been about two-tiers.
    In the end what makes F1 different is the technology, it's not just about the best driver, but the best driver in the best car. If you want to have simple driver vs driver go watch Indy Car or IRL.

    F1 has always been about the haves and have nots, this latest row is simply Ferrari manoeuvring for a better position. Come 2010 the two tier F1 grid will be alive and well, the only question is where Ferrari will be on that grid?

  • Comment number 30.

    People seem to just be missing the point. While everyone including Ferrari want to see those costs shrinking, nobody wants to throw their precious money into Bernies pockets, plus the much discredited Mosley to reserve himself the right to crown the champion of his preference by bending the rules to their favour.
    It takes more than Brawn's genius to make a fast car. Refusing Red Bull to employ a double diffuser on the car of their own can help a lot. Wording the rules in a deliberately ambiguous way underlines purposefulness.

  • Comment number 31.

    Reducing costs in F1 is a worthy cause in the current climate, but it cannot be imposed to a £40m cap. F1 is a technology based sport where spending money is the way to invent and improve technical aspects of F1 cars and eventually road cars.

    I'm afraid people who believe Ferrari are posturing, don't understand F1. F1 is Ferrari and F1 without Ferrari would be an utter disaster, can you imagine the Italian GP at Monza, you'll have GP teams with no spectators!! Not only would spectators numbers would be down at the circuits, but TV revenue will suffer dramatically without Ferrari and I think Bernie Ecclestone has already got his brown trousers on!

    Now Renault has also joined Ferrari, I'm sure an urgent budget cap review is very much on Max Mosley's mind.

  • Comment number 32.

    This will be sorted in the end, it's in everybody's interest that it is sorted.

    The cap will be raised or disappear altogether. It seems that everyone wants to cut costs but don't want to be forced into it.

    The paragraph quoted from Mark Hughes sums it up perfectly, the fans want to see a race in the UK and the teams want a race or two in North America.

    Simple really.

  • Comment number 33.

    The whole budget cap idea worries me even though I understand the reasoning behind it.
    F1 has been the motoring "Think Tank" for many years. Thanks to the innovations of F1 teams trying to make their cars better than anyone else, we, the motorist, have benefitted. Production cars now have Traction Control,Carbon fibre brakes, active suspension, semi-automatic gearboxes etc,etc, all thanks to the work of F1 production teams.
    I would not want any financial cap to prevent future innovations coming through.
    How boring would that be?????

  • Comment number 34.

    It wouldn't really surprise me if Ferrari followed through on their threat - they're in a poor development position at present and a year out to rework the car outside of any testing restrictions and with the cash saved from a season on the F1 tour, plus making their point to the FIA, plus the enormous publicity of leaving F1 for a year and then rejoining... I can see that it's not out of the question if they feel they're not being listened to.

  • Comment number 35.

    Given the addition of Toyota, Red Bull (and by extension presumably Torro Rosso) and Renault to the list of dissidents the grid is starting to look a bit empty next year. looks like F1 might be Brawn's to rule for a while the way Mosley and Chums are going. They are all about F1 being exciting to watch and the way things are looking I can't see next season being interesting if its about number of wins and only Brawn have a car capable of winning, title could be wrapped up pretty earlier (obviously overexagerated as McLaren (if they stay) will surely be competitive.

  • Comment number 36.

    poutsos, the reason Red Bull dont have a double decker is because the design of their rear pull rod suspension is significantly different and drastically changes the rear end of their car and it in essence sits right in the space where the airflow would go if they had a Brawn style diffuser!

  • Comment number 37.

    For all the talk of caps the question remains do Moseley and Ecclestion want dozens of applications from every tom, dick and harry? There's what maybe 3 to 5 slots available for which we know half of those are pretty much taken through speculation in the media with prodrive and the two yank teams. They seem to!?! What the manufacturers particularly the bigger one's don't want is to lower the bar so low that any team can effectively race them and embarrass them on a continual basis.

    It has to be said that if Ecclestone wants a cheaper f1 then the teams have a rather large point in stationg that he should fund that himself partly by not pulling out half the cash in the first place as ringmaster.

    Is a more affordable f1 going to be better whoever enters if most of the likes of Ferarri, Renault, Red Bull, Toyota, McLaren and BMW aren't part of that. The answer is obviously not.

    Moseley in particular seems to not comprehend what he's doing by trying to steamroll and bully the present teams and so quickly. Looks like someone somewhere is going to have to do a rather embarrassing u turn. It's about time Moseley in particular went - for all his fiddling of the rule book to make f1 more attractive what good does it do - this year we have cars that can follow eachother half a second close than they used to - KERS is a joke, much as Eddie Jordan says, those teams who have tried to honestly develop it are far worse off and then there's the making rules so open to interpretation that we had the diffuser row which surely in the grand scheme of things - being the new overtaking f1 - surely was never supposed to happen.

    For a sport that has soooo much money the first thing that has to be said is the people who run it are a joke! They'd be better of as politicians at the moment.

    I don't even think the FIA could police a budget cap anway - the team that would win would in my mind be the team who snapped the ruler more than any other.

  • Comment number 38.

    How the hell can they monitor the spending anyway?
    The teams can lie?

  • Comment number 39.

    #38 - the FIA would have access to the teams account books or a representative of the FIA would. Thats partly what Ferrari are complaining about

  • Comment number 40.

    I never understood why the teams threat to set up a rival championship a few years ago was not followed up. It is not the F1 franchise that pulls in the fans, it is the teams and their cars. If they set up their own championship company they could eliminate the Bernie and Max show. I mean, who would the fans and TV be interested in? A new championship with all the old names in it, or the old one filled with second rate teams no one knows?

  • Comment number 41.

    I agree completely with # 25.
    Ecclestone and Mosley must have read Mosely's dad's blogs ( memoirs )... on how to be bosses in a Dictatorship !
    The sport is being raped by these two egomaniacs and F1 without Ferrari ( who are a pain in the buttt ) and now Renault would be farcical.

  • Comment number 42.

    Hmmm...I would never call myself a Ferrari fan. Though I respect their history in the sport, to claim that "Ferrari is F1" is rediculous.

    I'm also not a Max Mosley fan, but this time around I have to say that he has a point. Everyone is running low on money at this point. We were very nearly facing a nine-team grid for '09. New teams are only coming in for 2010 because the coasts are meant to be coming down.

    I'm iffy about the two-tier thing(though weren't there separate trophies for the fastest non-turbo drivers and teams back in the 80s?) but a budget cap is a good idea.

    I suspect though that Max may have to raise it to something like £50m.

    The show has to go on somehow.

  • Comment number 43.

    It's about time the FIA made a set of rules and stuck to them.

    Can you imagine if the FA played around with the rules of football the same as what the FIA are doing to F1 ?
    Manchester United would be forced to play with 9 men, just to give the other teams a chance.

    If you want to see a motor racing series where all cars are the same, go watch Nascar. F1 is about technical excellence, pushing the boundaries of technology.

  • Comment number 44.

    iam a ferrari fan but i do admit it feels refreshing to see new teams dominating for a change which is good for formula one. I fully support ferrari in this case and i hope other teams follow suit because bernie and mosley have been dictators in this sport for too long and things needs to change , at the end of the day its not mosley or bernie fighting for the championship its ferrari, renault e.t.c so the teams need to have a a greater say in rules. A two tier championship will be disastraous for formula one as it will cause confusion in the public.From 2010 it will be third consecutive year that rules have been changed in F1 this has to STOP , F1 is too BIG for it to b meddled like this. Mosley or bernie to go

  • Comment number 45.

    You know what? That's it for me, no more watching F1 and I suggest everyone does the same. This is the biggets case of spitting the dummy out I've ever seen. What i'd like to know is do these teams support any budget cap at all? It's ridiculous to think they can just spend spend spend, not only is it unfair to other teams but in the present climate a smack in the face to the punters. All this investment eventually lands at the punters feet in admission fees and merchandise prices.

    Go to hell F1, you've managed to take a brilliant sport that was on a crest of a wave after last years epic season and turn it into a complete and utter laughing stock. Everyone is to blame, Mosely, Ecclestone, the teams, everyone.

    Well done.

  • Comment number 46.

    Great lunchtime reading Andrew. Thanks. And thanks also for comment 8 asking why F1 teams want to spend more money to go slower.

    All this money the teams are spending is a brand investment validated by the fact that they can race with and occasionally beat the pinnacle of automotive excellence. Where else do you see a Toyota, a Renault or even a BMW compared with a Ferrari?

    In the olden days when Ferrari would threaten a walk out, they were up against mainly privateer teams who wouldn't have minded - for them its about competition and beating whoever is put in front of you. Brawn and Williams at least might stay around, but not many others will.

    Not now that a big chunk of the grid is funded by behemouths advertising their mundance product by racing against Ferraris.

    It seems that F1 is united behing Ferrari. The drivers and teams know it won't be the same without them. Without Ferrari, there will probably be no F1 in 2010 because of the knock on effects.

    As I said in one of my last comments on this blog before the new rules, it was a dead cert that there would be this two tier cat among the pigeons. The deadline to register was also an old trick of Mosleys too.

    After the death of his son, there is probably a little less fight in him than there might have been, but he will get his cap. It might not be £40mil, but the teams will agree a bigger cap for one set of rules. That will feel like a victory for the teams...

    It seems now to be time for Bernie to play his part in this whole ruse. My guess is he will go to FOTA and say something like "fine, if you want to spend £60mil go ahead, just don't ask me for any more money so you can. I'll fix it with Max".

    Mosley gets a feather in his cap, Bernie keeps his money and the teams get to spend lots of money racing Ferraris. Everyone's happy - until the next time.

  • Comment number 47.

    Despite the fact that Max and Bernie have produced a lot for F1 and brought it to where it is today in terms of safety from Max's side and the improvement from the viewing perspective i.e the world feed, I think it's time they go, or at least take a back step. A bit like a government that has lost touch with reality, they insist on changing things around all the time without understanding the full effect of the changes.

    I do agree that the teams should be brought closer together on a budget basis, but more like £80m- £100m cap with the income generated distributed fairly, or in fact continue the measures such as a reduction in testing and refueling ban etc to cut costs, because having really small budgets is going to mean that F1 would blend into other junior categories of motorsport.

    I don't believe the two-tier championship will come into effect, that is the sort of ludicrous change that I spoke about earlier. The FIA seems to have a control freak approach to the whole thing that if you're going to fast we'll limit you, or if you're going slow we'll help you etc.

    FOTA are doing a great job and their ideas so far have used common sense, and make sense, after all they are worried too about the effects of the economic downturn, as well as helping other teams join (just look at the help Brawn got).

    The FIA need to focus more on their role of governing with greater transparency in decisions, with any new rules fully consulted with the teams prior to being published, rather than this situation of stay or leave, which is creating a media frenzy and is unsettling for all parties involved in the sport, not least the fans.

  • Comment number 48.

    I agree 43, if the FIA actually set the rules out clearly so each team knew what they could and couldn't do then they wouldn't have to spend so much money developing and redeveloping them all the time. I mean what if the budget had been in effect this year with the issue with the double diffuser's and KERs? What if teams had spent most of their budget on KERs before they realised they were allowed to use a double diffuser? Would they have been allowed to use extra money to develop a new diffuser or would they have just had to lump it all year while we watched a procession all season long?

    I'm not saying a budget cap is a bad idea but at the level wants to set it at it certainly is. A season without Ferrari? Not what people want to see but F1 could survive. But a season without Ferrari, Red Bull, Torro Rosso, Toyota and Renault and you'll get a lot more people switching off.

  • Comment number 49.

    I think there's an important point here that everyone's missing: exclusions from the cap include hospitality.
    Why is this important? Well, you might think the budget cap is going to leave the pit-lane looking a bit barren next year, with teams maybe giving each other a hand at pitstops because no-one will have enough mechanics, but far from it - pitbabes are hospitality, which may have an unlimited budget. Expect to see lots more of them next year - but perhaps they'll be necessary to distract from the tedium of a season without the major teams...

  • Comment number 50.

    Made me laugh the comment on here stating Brawns good early showing this season is proof a privateer team on a small budget can win hmmm...lets think back Brawn are just re-badged Honda racing team from last year when the car was developed with a budget of $300 Million & Merc engines hardly a small budget outfit.
    & best thing fota can do is start there own championship

  • Comment number 51.

    The credit crunch is being used as the excuse for this rule change but I suspect there is another agenda for Bernie and Max. They have jumped on the bandwagon to push F1 in the direction that suits them in my opinion.

    By the start of the next season the recession could be on it's way out. In a few season's time the world economy could be booming and we'll be wondering why teams have a limited budget.

    I think Ferrari, Renault and Toyota are right to threaten to quit. I hope Mclaren and BMW join them and give those old codgers no choice but to back down.

    PS - I like the no refueling plans - keep them =)

  • Comment number 52.

    No Carior, I am afraid you are all wrong. It is common practice for a manufacturer to ask FIA about the legitimacy of their plans before they will invest on them. It saves time, money and why not a face.

    The reason why Red Bull do not employ a double diffuser is because FIA told them their's was illegal while at the time they were telling Brawn, Toyota and William that theirs are legit. Red Bull used this at the FIA court on their favour and FIA realized they have to provide an answer. What they said, is that their response was in accordance to the rules.

    Actually it was not only Red Bull but Renault as well who were refused to exploit the ambiguity of the regulations.

    Of course there is no doubt in my mind, FIA knew very well what they were doing. And for those who fail to understand, it was to produce a divide and conquer situation among the FOTA members, to weaken their front.

  • Comment number 53.

    So a field of privateers is being seen as a bad thing? The 60's and 70's, even stretching into the 80's and 90's had loads of 'em. The Cosworth DFV powered half the grid. The racing was excellent. No innovation on smaller budgets? Lotus devised ground effect technology, Tyrrell the 6 wheel car, Brabham the fan car. No major corporate backing then. I'm not turning on the television every couple of Sundays to watch state of the art technology in action, I want racing. Not sour grapes and ultimatum politics. Goodbye Ferrari, Renault. Hello Aston Martin, Lola, USGP. Bring it on.

  • Comment number 54.

    Hi, Andrew

    Dear all,

    Just WARMTH a little bit the situation now with the Ferrari pulling out of F1 in 2010 if the £40 m. budget cap goes underway.

    Colleague of mine just asked me what are my thoughts on the issue : ). They know I am a Ferrari (Schumi and Co TEAM) supporter. So my immediate reply was, Im gonna wait a bit, 2-3 days longer or the next week to make any further or exact comments on the subject. When everything hopefully is more SETTLED.

    And then the funny aspect of the matter: - if it DOES happen I have to go and spent quite a lot of money on Ferraris merchandise. Finally!!! And then, quite controversially for the UK : ), all may see me running or doing outdoor sports with Michael Schumachers 7 stars Red Ferrari Cap : ). But as I DO RESPECT all teams in F1 and that I do live in Great Britain at the present I may have a reserve McLaren / Lewis Hamilton Cap if in case I got into some kind of trouble with the red cap : ). Or white and green Brawn GP cap. They do deserve some recognition for all their efforts this season!

    This is NOT a WIND UP story, because I wanted to do it some years ago. As I still feel FREE to express myself and my enthusiasm here!!! This is just a little nice story, a bit funny as well, for the reason that this issue may get very serious for many F1 teams. I do hope NOT and we still have the normal F1 to watch and enjoy!

    Thank you and lets see how everybody will handle this very solemn matter for the F1 sport!

    Julietalz (and a sincere smile: ) from me)

  • Comment number 55.

    I would love for ferrari to create their own championship, where only ferraris are allowed. That way, every week, a Ferrari would come in last!

  • Comment number 56.

    #38. Even with account books or a representative of the FIA, I still think its going to be impossible for them to regulate each teams spending.

    But I'm not surprised Ferrari don't like it, having spies and accountants sniffing around their factories every 5 minutes!!!

    But if its just a visit from the FIA and to monitor their account books, then couldn't they just lie, by having "off the book" contractors work for them??

  • Comment number 57.

    this is ridiculous, ferrari need to be kept in as most of the people who watch f1 are ferrair fans and have been since michael schumacher. i honestly think that if the teams do not get their way then i think that they will break off and form their own championship with the own agreed rules.

  • Comment number 58.

    I can see all the top teams breaking away and forming their own championship with their own rules and kick Max Moseley into touch!

  • Comment number 59.

    Ferrari aren't pulling out of F1, they're just stamping their feet louder than the others.

  • Comment number 60.

    I think getting rid of The Mosley click IS the necessary evil for the benefit of F1!!!

  • Comment number 61.

    I think it's so simple. Make all the teams complete with a £40 million budget. If the bigger teams insiste on spending millions more, who needs them. Lets have some newer teams in. Ok the likes of McClaren/Ferrari etc do bring the support at races, but change to a certain extent is good. More private teams will enter if the budget cap was set. The bigger teams do not rule the sport, they may have more money than say Brawn but they must not be allowed to rule. One rule for all. They are either in or out.

  • Comment number 62.

    Ferrari need to start thinking outside the box as Brawn, Toyota and Williams did at the start of the season with the technical regulations surrounding the diffuser. The £40 million quid cap doesn't include drivers salaries, so just pay Massa and Raikkonen a couple of hundred million each and let them pay for the research and development and staff salaries...easy

  • Comment number 63.

    This is classic F1 politics....start miles apart and meet somewhere in the middle. As usual the mainstream media get it all wrong with headlines like 'Ferrari Quit F1' when we all know its never going to happen.

    Budget capping is definately the way to up the technical and sporting regulations a little more and see who can do the best job under equal conditions.

    I expect to see a higher budget cap set in the coming weeks with it gradually lowered over a number of years.

    My own opinion is the teams (FOTA) have the power here. Max, Bernie, FOM and the FIA cannot afford for there not to be a 2010 Formula One World Championship

  • Comment number 64.

    I would hate to see Ferrari Toyota or Renault pull out of F1 next year.
    Mosley said that F1 can survive without Ferrari, but I think it could thrive without Mosley and Eccleston

  • Comment number 65.

    O.K. Maybe I'm not seeing the right picture here,after all,I'm just an ordinary man in the street,but it seems pretty simple to me that teams operating within the new (proposed)budget rules will have definite advantages of higher revving engines,moveable rear wing,etc.etc.So what's the problem? Here's the choice;
    A:I'll spend 40 million and have a greater chance of a superior car,or
    B: I'd rather spend 140 million and take the chance that I MIGHT have a superior car.
    I know which one I would choose,and it wouldn't be the second one.
    The rules might need a little tweak here and there,but it's basically a no brainer.
    So these teams threatening to pull out-let them go.They don't have a God given right to try and blackmail the authorities with their threats.
    There are plenty of teams willing to come into F1 and work within the budget. USF1,Prodrive,Lola,even Super Aguri could make a come back,and who knows,we might even see names like Minardi,Jordan,Jaguar,Stewart,Ligier,etc!!!

  • Comment number 66.

    Keefbee, you are correct, you are not seeing the right picture here.

  • Comment number 67.

    I cannot help thinking the teams are now wishing they had got rid of Max as part of the newspaper garbage.

    But what they really need is to get rid of the small one - his expansion on F1 has only been to grow his own nest - it has no long term sustainable advantange to F1. There can only be so many races per year - getting organisations/countries to pay to get in is only a short term benefit.

    Mean while he tried to kill the UK invovlment because he does not like the BRMB who want to do things within budget.

    There is some major contradictions here!

  • Comment number 68.

    The whole situation is becoming a farce and I suspect the fans, although totally fed up, are of little importance to either Mosely or Ecclestone. Both are having serious senior moments which increase by volume and intensity every season. The sooner all the teams pick up their ball and leave, the better it will be for everyone. The FIA is no longer fit for purpose and should be replaced by the teams themselves. Red Bull as an example, are more than capable of running a very successful World Championship and alongside the Motor Manufacturers would, in a few seasons, become far more equitable than the Blazers of the Max/Bernie Cartel. I for one hope that not only Ferrari and Renault are as good as their word and pull out but the rest follow and do so quickly. Only five races into this season they have ample time to organise 2010 and I see no insurmountable problems to prevent them from doing so. As for the UK race, I find it totally unacceptable that following an enormous investment by the British taxpayer into road improvements around Silverstone and at a time of serious economic disaster, his Lordship has given the race to Donnington Park, where More taxpayers cash as to be spent. Notwithstanding that the private investment was and is, still Not in place. This alone is an indication that they are no longer fit for purpose, have become far too powerful and are on a massive ego trip.

  • Comment number 69.

    As a former fan of F1 and a long term fan of MotoGP it saddens me that, yet again, F1 is washing its dirty laundry in public. This stupid public bickering and posturing shows, yet again, that the powers within F1 are worse than children in a playground.

    All parties should meet, put proposals and counter proposals forward, then discuss; if necessary discuss again and come up with an agreement.

    THEN, and ONLY THEN, should they go public.

    For heaven's sake act your ages not your shoe sizes, boys!

    Mind you; as a former F1 fan, do I really care?

  • Comment number 70.

    Good blog andrew. I still think that this situation has not been helped by the fact that Ferrari and Renault have both built rubbish cars this year.

  • Comment number 71.

    What is so sacred about the FIA and their arbitrary sets of rules.
    Surely a group of manufacturers or teams can set up a series of races to suit themselves and let Max go and play with his caravan clubs.

  • Comment number 72.

    A:I'll spend 40 million and have a greater chance of a superior car,or
    B: I'd rather spend 140 million and take the chance that I MIGHT have a superior car.
    I know which one I would choose,and it wouldn't be the second one.
    There are plenty of teams willing to come into F1 and work within the budget. USF1,Prodrive,Lola,even Super Aguri could make a come back,and who knows,we might even see names like Minardi,Jordan,Jaguar,Stewart,Ligier,etc!!!

    Can we leave you to let the families of those made redundant know of your decision then?

    This is typical of the comments of people who dont understand economics. £140m spent on a team is not money wasted or lost, it is money given to engineering firms, hauliers, colleges, manufacturers, R&D labs and many other businesses around the world.

    Super Aguri are dead without Honda backing, Minardi, Jordan, Jaguar (& Stewart, same team), Ligier and anyone else are all dead.

    A compromise (and one set of rules for everyone) is needed. £80m in 2010 sounds fair to me dropping each year to $40m if wanted.

  • Comment number 73.

    This may be obvious to some, but haven't we heard similar noises before, from the likes of Ferrari, Mclaren, Renault etc, about setting up a breakaway "Grand Prix" competition, competing against F1.

    Max Mosely and Bernie Ecclestone may well be concerned, that if this should happen, we as F1 fans may well switch over to follow the breakaway programme, as the teams we love, will most likely be there.

    Why cant the FIA, just let the teams do the racing they all want, and let us see some stability in the rules for a change.

  • Comment number 74.

    I personally think that there should be no budget restriction in F1. F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, of course it is going to be expensive. if teams are unwilling or unable to spend this amount of money to compete then they should not be competing.

  • Comment number 75.

    This isn't just Ferrari, it's Toyota, Redbull and now Renault, who will not be contesting the championship next season. That would only leave three engine suppliers BMW, Mercedes and the proposed Cosworth effort, for a grid of 23 cars! For me F1 is and should be a pinnacle of motor sport. If you want to save money race in GP2 or A1 GP. The racing is a lot more exciting.

    F1 is just as much about the engineering as it is about the racing. Frankly there should be more engineering freedom not less, and at any cost. KERS is a prime example of this, if the teams had complete freedom as to how much energy they can store and use, we would see huge advancements in this area, which would then benefit our road cars in years to come. But they wanted to make it accessible to all. Limited its development so most teams didn't bother, and those that did spend around 15m. Next season should you want to bring in new technology the 40m budget is down to 25m from which you have to run the rest of your race program. I feel this is going to be the death of F1 as a centre for engineering excellence, predominately British engineering excellence, just become a slightly fast GP2, what's the point?

    FOTA members need to form their own championship, this would allow manufactures control over the rules to make sure they are relevant to their day to day operations. FOTA created the overtaking group, which looks to be a success,. They also consult fans regarding how they would like the sport develop over the next few years, something the either FIA forgot to do or just ignored. Winner takes all anyone? Also if the new Championship gave every team an equal share of the revenue created from the sport, it would give every team a good starting budget. Especially as Bernie isn't taking his 50% cut.

    Its time for a change in F1, a big change.

  • Comment number 76.

    1st thing, it's not just Ferrari. Renault have now joined in, and RedBull, toyota and BMW have made similar comments.

    A 2 tier chanpionship is just not F1 and had no place in it

    A budget cap is fine in priciple if the teams aggree to it, but it must be gradual cost cuttings made over a period of a few years. You can't just say to teams like Ferrari and Toyota that have £150million plus budgets to all of a suden run their operation at a fraction of the cost, make a large proportion of their workforce reduntant in a matter of months. You have to remeber that it won't be too long before next years cars are designed.

    What F1 needs is a stable set of rules, only changing every 5 years or so and more open rules. Changing rules every year or so just increases cost and I can't undestand how Mosley can't see this.

    And the people that say Brawn are managing to win on a tiny budget should realise that the car was designed and developed whilst the team was still Honda, one of the teams with the larger budgets, and they gave up on last years car to make it.

    1 - a gradual budget cap, reduceing over period of years in a way agreed by all teams

    2 - opening up of the rules to allow innovation, not refining to the nth degree within restrictive regualtions

    3 - more of the revenues going to the teams, without them there is no F1, no show to watch. Bernie has made enough already from F1, he should give some back

  • Comment number 77.

    We would welcome the return of the new Bernie-less series back to Indianapolis!

  • Comment number 78.

    Normally, I wouldn't have a problem with any team wanting to quit, as no one team should be bigger than the sport.

    Also, as it happens, I am not a Ferrari fan either and previously I would have said they were simply throwing their toys out of the pram, for not getting their own way.

    However, after the raft of rule changes for this season and the Mad Motorsport Mafia (i.e. Max & Bernie) proposing yet more changes, some of which are frankly ludicrous, I am becoming fed up with their constant interference and their unwillingness to let FOTA have more say on the direction the sport is going in.

    It is clear most of the teams are unhappy with some of the proposed changes and are united in their rejection of a 2-tier championship, which the budget cap would create.

    The teams have already reduced their expenditures significantly and are committed to further reducing their costs over the coming years. Why the hell should Mad Max and Barmy Bernie arbitrarily force them to down to a £40m limit in the space of just acouple of years?

    These things take time. One of the key points behind sustainable development is that actions are taken gradually over a period of time, so as not to unduly upset the balance of things.

    Clearly, nobody told MM & BE about this

    I think its high time the other teams followed Ferrari's suit and threatened to quit F1 and form a new series, if the FIA and FOM continue to try and drive the sport (literally!) into the ground.

    I never thought I'd say this, but good on you Ferrari!

    Hope the other teams have the sense to stand with you.

  • Comment number 79.


    About time after all the rule changes FORCED upon the sport in recent years, id love a seperate comp.

  • Comment number 80.

    this capping system is stupid,F1 brings the future to the motor industry,latest technology and innovations to the cars we drive today,take all that away and in 5years time we will be driving the equiviliant of morris minors hmmm nice,plus with the cuts comes job losses,as most of the teams are based in britian this means more unemployed,F1 will end up the same as A1GP and look how boring that is.

  • Comment number 81.

    F1 should be the top motor sport, with the top technology, top teams, top cars.

    Sorry, but if teams can't afford it, tough. Top teams, are the most successful, with the most fans, and therefore the most revenue - they have an obligation to reward those fans with top drivers, and winning championships; therefore, they should be allowed to spend all the money.

    To start a budget cut - scrap the FIA (let FOTA do it) - scrap the £multi million salary Bernie and Max gets, and pass those savings down to the bottom teams.

    Don't get me wrong - cost saving can take place - through teams working together for once - both Ferrari and McLaren have spent £40m each on KERS - why not spend £60 between them - or £100m between all teams, etc.

  • Comment number 82.

    why would they want more teams anyway ? when the pole driver sits in his box how long would he have to stop till the final car pulls into his box

  • Comment number 83.

    Are we ever goimg to have a season of "Just Racing"? I'm pretty dedicated to following F1 but I'm sure that many people like me are rapidly getting turned off by all the bickering that's going on all of the time. YES, lets have a few changes to make the sport more competitive so the drivers can showcase their skills rather than have their failings compensated for by ultra-technical cars. This season is much more interesting as there are races taking place all down the field. The BIG BOYS are correct in complaining against a two-tier system; how can you decide on one world champion when there two sets of rules in force ? MM etc want to watch out because it won't just be the teams that are pulling out, the audience will just go away and watch football (yuk!)

  • Comment number 84.

    1. Ferrari can leave F1 any time they like. Then we won't have this 'most important team' nonsense. They're a team as important as any other. No more.

    2. Bernie and his Venture Capitalist friends pocket half the money from F1. The commercials need to be redrawn.

    3. One of the posts above spoke about 'stable regulations leading to innovation', another post stated that 'F1 contributes valuable research to road cars'

    Both of the above statements are largely nonsense. F1 is not a cost effective R&D program for road cars, and stable regulations mean that eventually teams are spending millions to shave a tenth of a second off their lap time, rather than whole seconds. I'd like stable regs (as long as they allow for overtaking) but they don't lead to innovation of themselves.

    Personally, I'd love to see a budget cap. I'd like to see Toyota, Ferrari, Renault etc. pull out of F1 and make room for some enthusiastic privateers.

    I love the idea of F1 being a sport where a team of people earn their victory, rather than the situation now where if Ferrari are doing badly they just spend their way out of trouble hiring extra consultants and skilled contract staff working 24/7 until they're back in the leading pack. Just like government and religion shouldn't mix, neither should sport and business. It's two competing sets of business interests that has got us here, in what's supposed to be a sporting series.

    I accept there has to be a commercial element to F1, but it shouldn't interfere with the sport. Don't let Bernie or the manufacturers hold F1 to ransom.

  • Comment number 85.

    What I don't understand is that no other sport has restrictions like this, F1 is the pinnacle of sport excellence and should stay like that, if the teams have money to throw around let them.
    F1 cars should be as good as they can be and not spending money does not help any of the teams accomplish that.
    I've supported F1 since I was a little boy and to think that all these restrictions are in place makes me wonder if I should keep watching.
    I say allow the team to spend and get the best cars with the best drivers on the track and more people will watch the sport it should be as good as it can be!

  • Comment number 86.

    Even though I am a Ferrari fan it is good to see them having to really fight for their points, but on a level field.If Ferrari,Renault etc pull out then I hope that the BBC ask for a rebate from the FIA as I predict the viewing figures plummeting dramatically. How does Max Mosely expect these big teams to drop their budgets so dramatically and agree to teams having a developement advantage which they will not be allowed to exploit? Why not a graduated reduction in expenditure over a set number of years? If the big teams pullout then it will be to the detriment of the sport and will cheapen any championship win. Worst of all it will hit the FANS the reason for the sport.

  • Comment number 87.

    Who cares who pulls out? Let half the teams go if they want - just run three cars from each remaining team. Better still, put all the drivers in one standard car and then we'd see some thrilling races and who really was the best driver!

    You'll have gathered I have no interest in F1, the people or the politics. To be frank, they are no better than the grossly overpaid namby pambies that are Premiership footballers.

    Saloon car racing is vastly more entertaining, costs significantly less and everyone gets on just fine. Thought: just bin the whole F1 package and move down a couple notches and utlise all that money on hospitals, education, homes and other fanciful causes.

  • Comment number 88.

    The teams need to stick together on this one if F1 as we have known it is to stand any chance of surviving.
    Incidentally, is anyone else getting more than peeved by the medias` (including I`m sad to say BBC News 24) headlines which can`t see past the 40 million budget cap to the real problem?

  • Comment number 89.

    "utlise all that money on hospitals, education, homes and other fanciful causes."

    Forgive me if I'm mistaken but since when was F1 part of the public sector?

  • Comment number 90.

    People are very quick to all price the wining Brawn GP and play it down to being a new kid on the block. What we however forgot to mention is that that car was build on a Honda massive budget of last season. Don't get me wrong i'm in favour of new faces and teams wining races

  • Comment number 91.

    Me thinks that with the Grand Prix circuits dumped or being threatened (like Silverstone) and the number of teams unhappy it is just ripe for a new formula.

    The only two issues should be the amount of fuel used and health & safety concerns for drivers, crews and spectactors, although I can't see anything wrong with teams able to choose which engine they use.

    The can't do this and can't do that attitude of Ecclestone & Moseley is making the sport a laughing stock. It's about time Moseley stopped using Ferrari as a whipping boy, although Fiat are maybe using this as an excuse to leave due to the economic climate.

  • Comment number 92.

    Do the right thing FIA:
    and raise the budget are couple if million and make that the limit

    This is to make teams join F1, not leave it

  • Comment number 93.

    I know FI is a complicated highly regulated sport...but folks...aren't we getting a bit silly with all the regulations...what's next??...something like unless you can show corporate profits at a certain racing....or better yet...each car must have a % of its components manufactured in selected third world countries.....that's's boarderline crazy already.....keep it up and your fans will majically disappear... ...

  • Comment number 94.

    If Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley want more teams in F1 then they are going to have to double or even triple the £40 million price cap or else they will lose all the teams that buy their way out of trouble in order to get a few new teams which is simply not good enough. I would rather see Ferrari, Toyota and Renault in F1 next year rather than new teams like USF1 who could probably afford to pay between £80 million and £120 million anyway, their American. As for the none refuelling rule, it is pathetic. It won't reduce the cost of fuel because whether they start with a full tank or half a tank, the drivers will use the same amount of fuel in the race. A full tank will only make them slower and problems will arise when they want to overtake which will make F1 dull. If Ecclestone and Mosley want more viewers worldwide then they need to make F1 fun, not boring. However I agree with the fact that they should try to cut costs, but you can't go from £200 million a year to £40 million a year in the space of a couple of months. This process should take at least a few years to get right. Also I do like the new aerodynamics, they look more like a race car. I am a kart racer myself and believe that if the FIA want to keep F1 alive then they need to seriosly book their ideas up and maybe even listen to FOTA for once because as they say a two tier F1 World Championship 2010 would not be at all attractive.

  • Comment number 95.

    F1 is an expensive sport and if teams won't to spend lots then let them, look at what's it's got them this year!

    I don't think putting a cap on will attract new teams, i think rules changes like we have seen this year are what improves/affects the dynamics of F1.

    So no cap.

    And as for Mosely, silly remark about no Ferrari in F1 and Bernie, STOP trying to make all these silly changes...medals for races, this is the way to destroy the sport!

  • Comment number 96.

    What i simply can't understand is why the most popular sports such as football and f1 are run by such incompetent people. I wonder who'd be against me if i said that figures such as Blatter, Mosley, Ecclestone and Platini were all axed from world sport to put power in the hands of a general body composed of members from teams? Frankly the four men i've mentioned above are idiots and seem to strive consistently to destroy the sports they are supposed to represent. Sport is effectively governed by hated monarchs and teams are beginning to rise up just as whole nations once did. As far as i'm concerned these men are all digging their own graves.

  • Comment number 97.

    I'll bet Ecclestone is already counting the future cost in money of a lack of Ferrari on the grid. Look at it this from a business point of view for a moment. Ferrari own roughly 33% of the fan base, without including the amount of fans that purely follow Raikonnen and Massa, leaving 67% for the rest of the grid. If BMW go part of the German base is gone, without Toyota there is no Japanese involvement and Renault, no french presence. These three teams gone would probably mean about 50% of the fans gone. Couple this with the drivers who are possibly without a drive, forget Poland (Kubica) and Spain (Alonso) bothering to watch. More of the german fan base goes with Glock and Heidfeld and remaining italians with Trulli. With Red Bull you lose Webber, the australian market though admittedly it's mainly Stoner they support, and Vettel, the remaining german driver barring Rosberg, further interest is gone.

    The only thing stopping Mosley from shifting is the lack of the other heavy weight that is McLaren. As soon as Mercedes announce a pull out, which I have a personal feeling they will, he will have no choice but to talk, though the way it's going there will be 8 teams on the grid if the 3 new teams join, possibly 7 if BMW also go.

    As for the teams, it's about the prospect of winning. None of them really care if they're there or not because they can just go do something else like Le Mans, Mercedes and BMW have DTM, the WTCC or the world GT.

  • Comment number 98.

    I haven't had time to read all the posts so apologies for repetition if that is necessary. Why aren't our politicians wading into this? Hi-tech motorsport is a hugely successful industry in this country and employs thousands of brilliant engineers. Quite obviously if budgets are cut at Renault, McClaren etc this will result in redundancies. Even Ferrari utilise UK based expertise - indeed it was the decision to do so in the late 90s that coinicided with Schumies world titles. We should be screaming from the roof tops or facilitating alternatives with Ferrari, Renault etc - perhaps at Silverstone! This is not just about whether F1 is better or worse as a result but is about supporting a successful industry in this country.

  • Comment number 99.

    If F1 is to remain the pinnacle of motorsport, and retain the interest of the public, then perhaps the FIA & Eccleston should adopt some restraint over the financial, technical and political shackles they are so anxious to apply. The FIA and Eccleston should be neither the owners, major beneficiaries or the controllers, of F1. Surely those roles fall to the major investors in F1; the teams. It's time for Mosley, his cohorts and Eccleston to retire to the pits and for the teams to show some solidarity and take control. There's way too much nonsense in F1 - let's have one set of accepted rules, developed by FOTA, driving F1 racing forward as fast as physics will allow.

  • Comment number 100.

    I think it is about time Max Mosley and his cronnies were kicked out of F1 he has either lost his enthuisasm in F1 or hastoo much money and no longer cares about F1 or both. I have never missed an F1 in nearly twenty years i've put things off just to watch it now i am wondering why i bother. F1 is a sport not a political party i think that has been forgotten

    Sack Moseley and look at Bernie as well. Get some new blood on the sport


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