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Weighing up the rivals in F1 row

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Andrew Benson | 12:33 UK time, Friday, 19 June 2009

The announcement by eight of Formula 1's 10 teams that they are to press ahead with plans to set up a breakaway championship next year means the sport is set for a summer of intense political battles.

Despite the threat by the teams' umbrella group the Formula One Teams'
Association (Fota), the preferred conclusion for all parties remains an accommodation that would see all the current teams racing in F1 next year.

But Fota and Max Mosley, the president of F1's governing body, the FIA, will be engaging in the mother of all power struggles before any compromise is reached.

As F1 reels from the fall-out of Fota's late-night announcement, then, it might be helpful to try to cut through the fog of spin and analyse where each side stands, and the strengths - or otherwise - of their position.

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali and Brawn team owner Ross Brawn

THE FIA

What it wants:

Mosley has been clear that he feels F1 is unsustainable in the current global financial crisis if costs stay at their present levels. He wants to introduce a budget cap, and he has changed the rules for next season to set this at £40m. Teams can choose whether they want to operate under the cap, but those that do would be given technical freedoms that would give them a decisive performance advantage.

Mosley believes that F1 is in grave danger if he does not introduce this cap. He says up to three of the car manufacturers currently in the sport could pull out at the end of this season - and he has named them as Renault, BMW and Toyota.

He says that by reducing costs to £40m a year he will remove this threat, as the boards of those companies would then have no reason to quit the sport because their costs would be covered by the money they receive from commercial rights holder Formula 1 Management (FOM), under the leadership of Bernie Ecclestone.

Mosley is also determined to hold on to the power of the FIA - power that has been greatly increased since he allowed the Concorde Agreement, that governed the sport and enshrined rights for the teams, to lapse in 2007.

He has said he is prepared to sign a new Concorde Agreement and has said he will remove a clause in the rules that the teams believe allows him to unilaterally change the regulations when he wanted.

He has also told the teams that he is prepared to abandon the two-tier rules and compromise on the cost cap, introducing an interim ceiling of £100m next year before moving to £40m in 2010. But he will not abandon it altogether.

What the FIA has going for it:

It owns the FIA Formula 1 world championship.

FOM has contracts with TV companies that commit them to cover F1, although some of them have clauses that would void those deals in certain circumstances (Italian station RAI, for example, has the presence of Ferrari guaranteed in its contract).

The FIA and FOM have ongoing contracts with most of the current circuits, although that does not apply to Silverstone.

Mosley's formidable intellect - he is an incredibly sharp political operator.

FOTA

What it wants:

The eight teams in Fota are Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, BMW Sauber, Toyota, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Brawn.

They are committed to cost reductions, but they reject the idea of a cost-cap. They want to reduce budgets by restricting expense at source - by, for example, reducing the time they are allowed to spend in a wind tunnel, or the amount of changes they can make to their cars in a season.

They want a greater say in the rule-making process, and a re-establishment of the Concorde Agreement that, among other things, enshrines the teams' role in the rule-making process.

They want what they describe as a fairer distribution of the sport's profits, which at the moment are split 50-50 between the teams and the company that owns F1's commercial rights, a venture capital group called CVC which bought them from FOM three years ago.

They also want a change in the way the sport is governed, with greater stability in the regulations and an end to the continued changes made by Mosley, and what they perceive as the autocratic way he runs the sport.

Finally, Fota wants an end to the current move in F1 towards races in places where no-one comes to watch - either because they cannot afford the ticket prices or because they are not interested - but whose governments are prepared to pay huge fees to host a grand prix, and instead guaranteed races in the sport's historic heartland and, particularly, the USA, a critical market for all the car companies.

What Fota has going for it:

Ferrari - by far the sport's most famous name, and one which, surveys say, is the reason that a third of all fans watch F1.

Nearly all the other big teams - among them McLaren, F1's second most successful team, Renault, which has a history in F1 going back more than 30 years, and major car manufacturers such as BMW and Toyota.

All the top drivers - including global household names such as Lewis Hamilton, the reigning world champion, and Fernando Alonso, the most successful active driver. And the man who is odds on to be world champion this year - Jenson Button.

Most probably the Monaco Grand Prix, the most famous race in motorsport and the jewel in F1's crown. Monaco is understood not to be contractually committed to F1, so is free to do what it wants. And Prince Albert of Monaco strongly hinted in a BBC interview at this year's race that he could not envisage his race without Ferrari.

THE NEXT STEPS

Just because the teams say they're planning a breakaway championship doesn't mean there is going to be one.

There are a lot of egos involved in this dispute, but all of them know the dangers involved if there actually was a split. They are all aware that single-seater racing in America has still not recovered from the split between the leading teams and the Indianapolis 500 in 1995.

So the most likely result remains that, eventually, the two sides will reach a compromise that sees F1 carrying on next year much as it is now.

But how the sport gets there from this stand-off is another matter entirely.

What entry list will Mosley publish tomorrow? If the big teams are not on it, how will that be solved? If they are, what happens then? What legal action will each side take to pursue their aims? How will a compromise be reached without some of the egos involved being punctured? These are just some of the issues that need to be resolved.

The underlying issue is the governance of F1 - and particularly Mosley's leadership. Fota is no longer prepared to put up with the FIA having absolute power, and the strength of the teams' unity can be judged by their willingness to stick together so far despite all attempts to drive them apart.

Among these was the leaking by Mosley of the fact that in 2005 he had offered Ferrari - who accepted - a veto over all future regulation changes (a contract Ferrari say the FIA has now broken by introducing the cost cap for 2010).

Far from driving a wedge between the teams and Ferrari, this information served to strengthen their bond - they saw it as evidence of what they perceive as the endemic corruption in the way Mosley runs F1.

The word in F1 at the moment is that the only way a solution can be reached would be for Mosley not to stand again for the presidency in October's FIA elections. But the chances of Mosley doing that voluntarily must be seen as slim.

It is hard to see how this will be solved without some major casualties along the way.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Good article!

    Clearly a lot of this is down to ego clashes and personalities as much as it is about money and regulations. My sympathies would lie with FOTA but I do agree with Mosley's wish to make F1 more sustainable, I do think he's been too heavy handed and inflexible in the way he's gone about. There is a compromise to be made but it's now got to the point where someone is going to be have egg on their face when the deal is truck. The FIA need the big teams and they in turn need the prestiege and glamour that the name "Formula 1" gives, so I'm sure they will reach an agreement. However, it may take F1 years to get repair the damage that this has done to it's brand.

  • Comment number 2.

    this should be fun..... a breakaway series will not happen but Mosley has to take a step back and realise that he is driving a wedge in to the motorsport.

    why can there not be just a larger ultimate cap rather than offering advantages to small teams???

  • Comment number 3.

    Great Article. I think Mosley has had this coming for a long time. He said that he wasn't going to be standing again when he had his name and how he spent some of his time which the News of the World published last year. I'm not sure how much pressure Bernie is putting on either Mosley or the FIA as he could be the biggest looser. I'm sure in the end everyone will come to an agreement but with FOTA having a much bigger say. If not I can't see F1 being around for that long as the big manufacturers will have their own series and TV money.

  • Comment number 4.

    I think I'd have to agree with the FOTA teams on this one. There's been so many rule changes in the last couple of seasons that can be hard for seasoned F1 followers to keep up, let alone the new fans the changed regulations are trying to entice. I think it's time for Max to end his reign and bring someone new in (Ron Dennis, anyone?), who will negotiate with the teams and provide us with a stable, innovative series which will bring F1 back to where it should be: pushing the boundaries of what's possible.

  • Comment number 5.

    What we must not forget is the constant syphoning off of the money by FOM (or now CVC). Had the financial agrrement been 10% FOM (who bears NO risk) and 90% the teams, then a budget cap would not be needed.

    What the FIA do not understand is that Mosley and Eclestone are the damaging factors here - the treat F1 as a personal fiefdom. They dismiss the races that the teams need for their markets and go to places where the governments pay FOM huge fess to have the race, which could result in a Grand Prix in India but none in Britain.

    What would be interesting would be if the 'grandee' teams agreed the budget cap then charged a smaller team an extortionate fee for the usage of its technology, thus bankrupting the small team - would FIA then step in and rig the market ?

  • Comment number 6.

    Very good article.
    The big finger is pointed to Max, yet I can't help feeling if you could get rid of Bernie, I think the F1 World would be a better place.
    Maybe I'm wrong and that I'm just bitter & twisted that this is last the GP @ Silverstone.
    Stand your ground FOTA

  • Comment number 7.

    The battle really is between Mosely and Ferrari. Forget Renault, BMW and Toyota. There is no guarantee that they will continue for long anyway. So Ferrari, and McLaren to a lesser extent, are what this battle is about.

    Can F1 survive without them? Yes.
    Will it still provide the spectacle. Unknown.

    Can FOTA put on a rival series? Possibly.
    Will it last if they can? Probably not.

  • Comment number 8.

    The timing of this is interesting in that a number of classic tracks and experienced broadcasters have recently been/soon to be freed from contractually obligations to Bernie's empire.
    I suspect that the availability of these alternatives makes a break away much more feasible than it has been for a long time.

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm agreeing with these comments and like the article ... signs of a dictator too-long in office, signs of an unheathly attitude from FIA and FOM ... ultimately the governing body is there to serve the teams and the public ... not themselves!

    Good riddance, I vote for FOTA to really go for it and break away entirely, and for the other teams to join in, and for FOTA to look at a gradual move towards a working budget system.

  • Comment number 10.

    Mosley and Ecclestone have brought this about themselves. F1 is the teams and the drivers - my hope is that Fota do what they say they will do and just hold the same championship under a different name - it may not be as big or as glamorous as this year - it will take a while to build up all the excessive - but it might get back to basics and be held in the right places. Who knows they might save so much money by getting back to the basics of racing that they unintentionally meet Mosley's budget cap figure. It would be the sweet smell of justice if the definitive British Grand Prix was held at Silverstone next year. Ecclestone is trying to appear calm and relaxed but he knows he could be the head mogul of a non-event next year.

  • Comment number 11.

    Good article through out, but it is all about the penumltimate paragraph.

    Is October soon enough for a change of leadership though? Plans for a break away will have to be locked in well before then. Votes of no confidence exist for a reason.

  • Comment number 12.

    When I worked in F1 in the late 60's with Ron Dennis as a fellow mechanic and Frank Williams trying his best to make an income from F3.,
    Motor Racing was still a SPORT. Max( the M in March / always dud cars) and Bernie ( who had no hope of running Brabham as a MOTOR RACING
    TEAM ) should both bugger off and let people like Frank Williams, Robin Herd, Ron Dennis, Ross Brawn etc. run the wonderful SPORT of Motor Racing unhindered by the massive ego trips of the long and the short of it,Max and Bernie.

  • Comment number 13.

    If this breakaway series does happen, what will it mean for the UK TV rights? Will it end up advert filled on ITV or Sky, with the licence fee paying public left watching a supermarket value racing series on the BBC?

  • Comment number 14.

    Get rid of Mosley and Ecclestone and all F1's problems disappear! Mosley is too full of his own self-importance and Ecclestone is just too greedy! A more equitable sharing of power and finance is what FOTA wants and this solution would provide it.

  • Comment number 15.

    A compromise can be reached, but as Jonathan indicates the single most important message from FOTA for the FIA is not about budget caps, not about two tier systems, it's about removing MM's ego from the situation and restoring FIA governance to a reasonable footing. The FIA (by which I mean the FIA, not its President) needs to listen immediately to the clear request from FOTA: Max and Bernie (aka Mr Krabs - SpongeBob fans will know exactly what I mean) out now! Remove them and there'll be a rapid compromise. Someone with authority over Max at the FIA (is there anyone?) needs to open the FIA's eyes so that it sees that a walking ego whose judgement is clouded by the effects of revelations about his private life and tragic family loss, must be sacked quick smart. It defies belief that the FIA has allowed Mosley to go so far.

  • Comment number 16.

    How Mosely has managed to carry on thus far has been ridiculous, the sooner he goes and some proper organisation can be brought into F1 the better

  • Comment number 17.

    Time for Mosley and Ecclestone to take their worthless egomanical personalities and go home, F! will not servive this. The breakaway is the only way to go! History will show that 2 idiots cannot rule the world!

  • Comment number 18.

    At the end of the day it is all about money.

    At the moment the big car manufacturers and the big corporate sponsors are putting it all in and FOM, FIA Max & Bernie are taking most of it out.

    The key players are Fiat via Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, Toyota, BMW & Renault without their engines and the car companies & big sponsors money then F1 would revert to one of many similar series.

    Also will the tv deals allow a get out in the event of certain teams not participating?

  • Comment number 19.

    I think the timing of the announcement is interesting - is it a case of two fingers up at Bernie for taking the British GP away from Silverstone this time last year?

  • Comment number 20.

    You've only to look at the English Premier League to see how an elite few teams strangle the life out of the rest.

    With no budget cap, the winners will become (as they have been) increasingly predictable.

    Predictability means that the sport will, ultimately, die. As indeed - with F1 - it is slowly doing.













  • Comment number 21.

    I missed this revelation ...

    "Among these was the leaking by Mosley of the fact that in 2005 he had offered Ferrari - who accepted - a veto over all future regulation changes ....)."

    It does explain a lot about the pro Ferarri attitude by FIA these last few years.

  • Comment number 22.

    Pondo1664: They've announced it now because the deadline to enter for 2010 was today. It has nothing to do with where we are, it's purely coincidence. Although, it's interesting that the 1950 British Grand Prix was where the FIA World Championship was born. It looks like the 2009 British Grand Prix is where the FIA World Championship will die.

    If the new rival series materialises, and it races at Monaco, Silverstone, Monza, Imola probably, and can hold races in France, United States and Canada, while abandoning the races with no fan interest, I think they have every chance of making it work. Not only that, but it'll surely overtake the FIA Championship in terms of prestige. Even if the FIA says that circuits in their calendar can't be used by the other, there are plenty of circuits left for the new series to go to:

    Argentina - Buenos Aires
    San Marino - Imola
    Portugal - Portimao (new circuit, but is rumoured to want a race)
    Spain - Jerez
    Monaco - Prince Albert will want Ferrari
    France - Le Mans (not the best, but it's a circuit)
    Britain - Silverstone
    Germany - Neither can claim to afford it (Hockenheim/Nurburgring) so they'll jump ship
    Italy - Monza hasn't got a contract anyway for 2010
    United States - there's bound to be somewhere
    Canada - Montreal
    Japan - Fuji
    Australia - Again, bound to be somewhere

    There's 13 races, and apart from Spa and Suzuka, they have all the major circuits in all the major markets their calendar.

  • Comment number 23.

    The teams cannot do a worse job running their own show than what has been happening over the past couple of years.
    We'll see better racing at the more traditional venues.
    Formula One has needed this and it's time...it's time.

  • Comment number 24.

    It appears to me that the problem is to be found in the vicinity of a single individual. As this is a sport that has stood the test of time from well before these domineering personalities were on the scene, perhaps the solution is just to get rid of the individual and preserve the sport. While it is not for the public to judge individual in what they do in their private life when their tendencies for shady dealing spill in their public life then it is only fair to start asking why the public should suffer from it. F1 without FOTA will be as succesful as Guns&Roses with 1 of the 5 original members.

  • Comment number 25.

    Max needs a good whipping and thats what hes getting right now. So everybody is happy. We get a race next year we all want to see and Max has what he wants. A red backside.

  • Comment number 26.

    Unless this FOTA move is also part of Mosley's strategy... but this is just speculation, as I can't see what he would gain from it. However shrewd he is, he seems to have a bit lost touch with reality. Real Madrid has just spent £80 million to watch someone running on a green field, and he wants a whole F1 team to run on that budget for the full season? Nonsense, unless you want to race with standard road cars.

  • Comment number 27.

    ...actually half of that budget! sorry...

  • Comment number 28.

    The teams should have done this a long time ago!! Everyone can see that the teams are the one's who make the series and sport.

    I think it's probable that Bernie is going to be absolutely key now; he needs the teams otherwise he's going to lose ALOT of money. Mosley is just powermad...

    roll on a new series and let the FIA and FOM run their dictatorship!!!!!

  • Comment number 29.

    What I really, really, don't understand is quite how the teams let FOM/CVC cream off half, yes HALF!, of the money. How does that happen?

    If you were a major motor manufacturer, say BMW, would you give 50% of the retail price of a new 5 series to the car dealer round the corner, even at the best of times let alone these days? No, you wouldn't. You might want to split the profits 50:50 but not the gross.

    It's about time for an end to the Poison Dwarf and Red-Botty Show.

  • Comment number 30.

    No one is taking about jobs, if The FIA get their way we are going to see the loss of a thousand jobs, most of them here in the UK. How on earth can Muppets Moseley and Ecclestone go along with this during these times of financial trauma. The truth is, they have become so dam wealthy after milking it for years, they don't give a dam. Like our Politicians, they do not live in the real World and care little for ordinary workers. They both fully understand that as a result of their Mickey Mouse rule changes, the teams will be forced to shed employee's, on that count alone they should chased off Silverstone and down the A34 this afternoon. Why on earth the Silverstone Management have allowed either of them attend this weekend is beyond me, I would not have had them within ten miles of Northamptonshire.

    I would suggest that all those attending this weekend carry banners and demonstrate to have these Muppets thrown out and by giving a big thumbs up to FOTA.

  • Comment number 31.

    I am very curious to see the final published list of participants that is due for release tomorrow. If it does not include FOTA teams but includes 8 'new' teams then surely it would be very difficult to backtrack from this. Forgetting about the political row and FOTA breakaway, if 8 new teams are told that they will be racing in F1 next year tomorrow, only for Mosley and the FIA to backtrack later should they reach a compromise with FOTA, then these are 8 teams that most likely will not want to apply to compete in F1 again.

    This is surely beyond the realms of common sense and Mosley would do well to recognise this before the stubborness of FOTA, but much moreso of Mosley himself, does irrepairable damage to the reputation of the sport by hastily announcing that there will be new teams taking the places currently occupied by FOTA

  • Comment number 32.

    I am a big fan of Formula 1, and have been for a long time. However, sadly I am very quickly losing interest of this sport.

    I didn't start watching the sport for this. I didn't want to hear about Mosley's dirty sexual fantasies. I didn't want to continually see Lewis Hamilton and McLaren in the FIA Courtroom in Paris. I didn't want to hear about all the teams crying and whining because they weren't winning, and then threaten to leave the sport. These teams are the furthest away from sportmanship you can get. Even Cristiano Ronaldo is a fairer player than these lot.

    'That's not fair! He's better than me! He's got something I haven't!' This sounds like a 6 year old pulling at his mum's dress when he's losing. In fact, these are the thoughts of Ferrari, McLaren, Toyota, Williams,...........

    Please, get the mess that is currently called Formula 1 back to its former glories. I want to hear the sound of engines roaring, not Ecclestone's master plan to save us all........again.

  • Comment number 33.

    Formula 1 w/o FOTA will be like watching NASCAR. Think about it, no FOTA, where do F1 get their engine from? Costworth will supply to everyone in pit lane? This is the NASCAR model that Mosley is marching toward. Next thing you know, there might be racing in the oval track.

  • Comment number 34.

    Just seen the video with Ecclestone, firstly he as a duty to talk sensibly to TV and the paying public, and secondly his attitude and answers were both banal and arrogant to say the very least, Quote 'Go See Max' The man is either playing silly games or is senile and certainly not a fit and proper person to take millions in gate receipts off ordinary punters this weekend.

    If I were a board member of either of the Motor Companies, Fiat, Mercedes etc, having seen that video, I would be pulling the cash now ! How large public companies can get in bed with such cretins is totally beyond belief. Hopefully the seriousness of this pantomime will escalate up from the team managers to the board rooms as soon as possible.

    The Fantasies of Moseley and Ecclestone must surely be brought to an end NOW !

  • Comment number 35.

    Montreal, Kyalami (south Africa, Indi and all the others already mentioned. Bernie needs to start figuring out how many contracts he is going to lose, and FIA needs to figure where their money is coming from when manufacturers pull out of just not F1 but their organization, car clubs only?

  • Comment number 36.

    Why have the three teams Max Mosley has named as being in financial trouble joined the grouping asking to be freed of a spending cap. Based on this, F1's argument doesn't make sense.

  • Comment number 37.

    I think the most likely outcome of all this is Mosely having to stand down, and the abandonment of the budget cap.

    Sadly Max is as likely to step down without fuss as Gordon Brown is....

  • Comment number 38.

    I think they need the manufacturers to have seats on the board making decisions. Any organisation which ignores the wishes of the majority of its key stakeholders deserves to fail.

  • Comment number 39.

    Whether it's posturing or not, the split of the teams from Ecclestone and Mosley is totally essential for the health of F1, or whatever it's going to be called in future - and let's not get hung up on a name.
    I became a formula one fan as a very young boy in 1973 and I don't recognize what this sport has become. The eagerly maintained distance from the fans, the costs of being a spectator, the boring circuits in the middle of nowhere - it's all a far cry from the days of Zeltweg and the Nordschleiffe, and this weekend we say au revoir to Silverstone, largely because Bernie's measure of a good track seems to be how well the prawn sandwich brigade gets looked after in the middle of some desert or other in front of a handful of spectators. Go to any Nascar race and you will see antithesis of all that is wrong with modern F1. Drivers that can talk to fans, fan access to team garages at places like Las Vegas, reasonable ticket prices, the willingness to race on circuits that still have their risks - that is what F1 or its successor needs to be. The current F1 management structure was forged at a time when there was a whole lot less money involved and it's out of date, egotistical and horrendously autocratic. Time for a change, and not a second too soon.

  • Comment number 40.

    How can the FIA now try and sue FOTA and Ferrari. If they don't want to compete in F1 and want to set up their own competition then they can't stop them!! Even the FIA have said if they don't sign up unconditionally then they will bring in other teams that are waiting to race. Maybe these other teams will pull out because the likes of Ferrari and McLaren aren't racing. Surely the board of the FIA have to get hold of Mosley and vote him off with a no confidence motion!!

  • Comment number 41.

    WHY is Ferarri allowed to have special rules in the first place ? And WHY do so many other teams support them in this ? It devalues the whole sport (if indeed it is primarily a sport). I can hardly believe it was Max Moseley himself who offered Ferrari their precious veto ! Perhaps all F1 negotiations should be conducted in public, so the participants can be suitably laughed at when they tie themselves up in such ridiculous and counterproductive knots.
    Maybe I'm missing something, but in the meantime this year's has been the most enjoyable season for ages, IMHO.

  • Comment number 42.

    Please please please get rid of these two greedy men (Max and Bernie)..........F1 is for the fans not so that these two fat cats can sit and count their huge pots of gold each night!

    It is sickening to continuously read about these two, this sport should be about the competitors and fans, they must go!

  • Comment number 43.

    A Breakaway would be the worst thing to ever happen, people are happy about it now, but trust me in 5 years everyone will want both series back together.

    There are a lot of parrallels between this & the CART/IRL split of the mid-90's. CART was the biggest racing series in North America & was growing on a world-wide scale, it peaked when Nigel Mansell moved from F1 to run CART in 1993. CART was growing at such a rate that Bernie was worried about it competing with F1 on a world stage.

    In 1995 A split occured, the IRL was formed as a break away for 1996.

    Over the next few years CART/IRL went head to head & 4 years on both series were struggling. IRL had never really gained the intrest outside of the Indy 500 & CART was beginning to lose attendance, TV ratings & sponsors. By the time CART went bankrupt it was almost totally irrelevant & IRL wasn't much better. By the time the 2 Merged at the start of 2008 Open Wheel racing in America was practically dead, NASCAR which had been the smaller of the 2 Pre-Split has taken the CART/IRL split & jumped on it to become the dominant form of MotorSport in America, It passed where CART once was & is now way bigger.

    A F1/FOTA Breakaway would split fans, Drivers, teams, circuits, sponsors & TV broadcasters, just as the CART/IRL split did. Within 5 years neither series would be anywhere near as strong as F1 is right now & everyone will be calling for a merger, just like with CART/IRL.

    Im not siding with FOTA or the FIA, I don't care which rules get used or what comprimise is met, I just don't want to see a Breakaway because trust me it will totally kill this sport not just F1.

    Max should go, Bernie I don't think should. I don't think Bernie has played much of a role in this problem, in fact the teams seem sympathetic to the position he's been put in (As Christian Horner noted today).

  • Comment number 44.

    There is an almost unanimous view that FOTA are in the right here. There is no doubt that without Mosley, there would be no crisis, but he is not going to vanish into thin air.

    Having dug himself into this position, he has to save face or he will ruin FIA F1 and FOTA F1. If he goes down, he will bring down the whole house of cards with him.

    We should try and remember that Mosley is a lawyer by profession, so the FIA is not going to take legal action without a great deal of confidence in its contractural position with Ferrari, Red Bull & Toro Rosso.

    Of course Ferrari have some great lawyers too as McLaren will testify, but they lost the case they brought in Paris recently. In that case they sought to use their veto to prevent the rule changes but the court ruled that they did not have a valid reason for doing so.

    The FIA was then able to take the position that Ferrari are contracturally obliged to enter the FIA F1 championship. It may well be that in spite of what the world thinks, based on the contracts that are in place, Mosley is "right". Ferrari may be blocked from entering a breakway series which would leave FOTA F1 as dead as a dodo.

    If Mosley wins in court and can hold Ferrari to F1, he is then in a position to cede ground in the other areas and still emerge the winner. If he gets his cost cap and a few other headline wins, he can gracefully retire in October.

    FOTA can still get what they want, even by losing in court - in fact that result may make an amicable resolution much more likely. Like children, this lot need boundaries and then they will behave.

    The neat little side effect of all this legal action is that the publication of the final entry list has had to be delayed giving everyone time to calm down a bit.

  • Comment number 45.

    glad to see the teams are gonna take away the ball that max and bernie have hogged for a long time ,
    i have always mantained that max has been dragging f1 into the gutter with the way he has carried on like a little hitler (no pun intended ha ha ) i can only envisage a new f1 being a heck of a lot more interesting than it is just now who knows we may even see a return to the likes of kylami

  • Comment number 46.

    Forgot one thing in my above post, I don't think the teams running FOTA woudn't be as good as many believe.

    CART was run by Teams (CART = Championship Auto Racing Teams) & the conflict among the teams didn't help them. Each team wanted there own ajenda met so they began to arguse amongst themselfs which did a lot of internal damage to the series.

    A FOTA team run championship would likely start to see cracks if Ferrari wanted things done a way to suit them, but that way didn't suit BMW who wanted things done a way to suit there wants & need's.

    Eventually you would have 8 FOTA teams wanting 8 different things & with nobody to help broker a deal (Something Bernie has helped do more than once when teams were fighting amongst themselfs) they may start turning on one another.

    I agree with FOTA that the teams should have more input in the regulations, but I don't think they should have the ultimate authority.

  • Comment number 47.

    people criticize big teams for ruining F1's competitiveness...let me ask you who watcher A1 GP and other formula series...why hasn't Indy car racing league taken off in US??...the big teams make F1...they put in all the money...teams have been spending 300-400 mill a year and Bernie gets to keep half of profits...Max decides the rules and changes them on a whim...teams have 0 say in both commercial and competition decisions...I for one am surprised these two were able to milk F1 for so long

  • Comment number 48.

    "Maybe I'm missing something, but in the meantime this year's has been the most enjoyable season for ages, IMHO."

    What?? It's actually quickly becoming rather boring and predictable.

    On top of that, the cars look farcical.

  • Comment number 49.

    First Mr Mosley says F1 are bigger than Ferrari, that if Ferrari left F1 would still be fine. He also said that if FOTA want to have a say in the rules they should create their own series. He also said F1 should be about top technology and creativity, not who has more money.

    Well, guess what? FOTA have Ferrari on their side and they want to create their own series, leaving F1 with a bunch of new teams all running 2006 spec Cosworth engines. No disrespect to Cosworth, but 2006 engines that are no longer top technology and a series with one engine is hardly creative and diverse.

    And now Mr. Mosley wants to sue FOTA for this!! All they did was excatly what Mr. Mosley himself suggested. So, does this have anything to do with the money FOM and FIA are about to lose, perhaps? I thought F1 wasnt about who controls the money...

    No wonder FOTA have grown tired of Mr. Mosley saying things he doesnt mean, changing his mind every 5 minutes... time to say bye bye Max!

  • Comment number 50.

    Hi,
    I am 64, I said at the start of Mosley's reign, no good will come of this.
    Ecclestone has made Mosley very rich in their business dealings together.
    The guy before Mosley was an idiot but he was not of Mosley's character.
    This is a no win situation for F1, F1 belongs in Europe and maybe USA, never mind all these fly away GPs.
    Ecclestone is out to make money, for himself, along the way he has made the likes of Frank Williams, Ron Dennis very wealthy, money talks if it is only to say goodbye.
    We need teams such as Williams in F1, Frank is a racer pure and simple.
    As is mentioned elsewhere, their are huge egos abroad here.
    In my humble opinion, Mosley needs to go, that has always been my view from the start of his presidency, he is a highly intelligent individual, very highly educated, a lawyer, but he is like his father, arrogant.
    Bridgestone are contracted to the FIA next season, who will supply the tyres to a breakaway series?
    Will Bridgestone be poacher and game keeper, I doubt it, remember Bridgestone has Japanese management, they will not play the end against the middle.
    This situation has to be sorted before next season if F1 is to survive,the main objective of the major car makers
    is to have F1 in USA, the USA has never been keen on F1, they have CART, INDY, NASCAR and ALMS all well supported.
    The current F1 races are at maximum 2 hours in duration, people in America will not travel far greater distances then we travel to watch a race of that duration.
    Another point, in America motor sport is much more relaxed, Bernie shuts everybody out apart from his invited people.
    I can remember being able to walk around the pits during an F1 meeting, now you are lucky to be able to get within 100 metres of the cars.

    Get rid of F1, set up a GT series world wide, much more interesting.

  • Comment number 51.

    So according to the FIA, setting up a rival to the current F1 would be a "grave violation of competition law"? Sounds to me like the complete opposite, and that to deny the teams the right to set up their own contest would be anti-competitive. Sounds like for once the golden rule - those who have the gold make the rules - is about to be broken. Cheer up Max and Bernie, it was a good run while it lasted, you'll have made your millions. Maybe the days of prepostorous proposed rule changes (if Ecclestone's new scoring system had been in effect the season would practically be over by now), and much of the other nonsense (like changing the schedule and which countries/courses get races every five minutes) will be consigned to the ashcan of history.

  • Comment number 52.

    Given all the changes/discussions, why not reform the FIA?

    There is a power struggle between FOTA/FIA. Ron Denis left; one of the prime men in the development of the current F1! Why is it so hard to remove one individual who presents his arguments very well but does not really have at heart the interests of an armchair fan as myself???

    F1 has to be about car development, money will always be spent in this sport, these are the best cars on the planet. That's the game.

    Get rid of Max. Reform the FIA and limit "dictatorship time" to 4 years!!

  • Comment number 53.

    Ecclestone will not let it happen. He's a shrewd bloke and he stands to loose quite a bit of money if the breakaway goes ahead. I wouldn't be surprised if Mosley ends up jobless after this fiasco though, but I'm sure there will be F1 more or less as we know it next season.

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    Good article,

    This is the most exciting thing to happen to F1 this season! I agree that a breakaway championship is very unlikely, but at least Moseley will realise that he isn't omnipotent. In my opinion the FIA needs teams like Ferrari and McClaren, just as much as the teams need the FIA.

    I think the idea of a budget cap is not the way forward. Clearly costs are too high, but then F1 is an expensive sport. Perhaps teams should be rewarded for cutting costs by getting a larger percentage of the profits. This would help keep smaller teams in the championship, it would encourage cost cutting by larger teams, and avoid having a two-tier race with some cars technically more free then others.

    Of course my idea is copyright and if they want to use it, then FOM will have to pay me 25% of the profits Mwahh hahh hahh!!

  • Comment number 56.

    @22 - that's a nice list of Grand Prix races there.

    And even if they only found a couple more (perhaps have two in the US and another somewhere in Europe) or they didn't, it wouldn't matter to me. I'd rather watch a 13 race breakaway series instead of lining the pockets of those two greedy dictators, and I think that the majority of racing fans would too. If they can find someone with the acumen of Bernie to negotiate commercial rights then I think that FOTA can really breakaway.

  • Comment number 57.

    FOTA are far more in touch with the culture of their sport than their excessively greedy governing body. FOTA do not need the FIA. Without FOTA there is no Formula 1 so they should bite the bullet and go for it. Companies rebrand and change their names successfully all the time. Bring the sport back to Europe as "The World Constructors Championship", "Formula Zero" or whatever, with all the gate and TV money going back into the sport.

  • Comment number 58.

    I am unsure about a breakaway. On one side I dont want it because of the name Formula 1 and the history etc that it represents but on the other hand what FOTA are saying they want in a new championship does really appeal to me and the major point is keep traditional tracks on the calander and not taking races to countrys were their government will spend £m's to have the race but with empty seats. Look after the fans who support the races and give them a race. Bernie wants these middle east races but at night, why at night? Simple, the major TV audience, and so biggest TV contracts, are in Europe so how about this for a radical idea: Keep more races in Europe and not the middle east then they will be a prime time for Europe and cost will be down as not flying all over! After writing this I have decided.........come on FOTA and breakaway.....I think???

  • Comment number 59.

    good comments i think its time for change this has been on the cards for years. i will follow fota and back them wat ever they decide good on them i say bout time.

  • Comment number 60.

    Having read through the posted comments, the general consensus is: bye bye Max bye by Bernie. Package it how you like, this is the problem at stake; I support FOTA.

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    I do hope Max has to sue Ferrari in the Italian courts !

    What I want from F1/FOTA is simple: high quality racing, with the best drivers and the cutting edge of automotive technology. That not cheap in fact it will be extremely expensive. I want the drivers and the teams to be much closer to the fans, that means using the circuits that we love and where the fans can actually go. Sure I know F1 has to expand its markets and race in new places (eg China, Russia etc) but not at the expense of losing the existing fan base.

    What I have got is, non stop rules changes, processional racing, and total arrogance from those in charge of F1

    At Silverstone please make your feelings loud and clear

  • Comment number 63.

    Sad to say F1 has reached a point that it now is as much a 'Sport' as WWF. The level of control over the drivers and the teams mean that any resemblance to sport in the true sense dissapeared long ago. The cause is of course money, too much money being spent,earned and salted away by too few people. You may look to Football for the model and to see what will happen in the future.
    By all means attend an F1 race if you want to see spectcle and pomp but be prepared to pay far more than the experience is worth in order for others to profit.

  • Comment number 64.

    I think Max more then Bernie need to be brought back into the reality. Get rid of Max and bring somebody into the sports governing body who has a passion for it and end this nonsense. F1 under Mosely has become about as interesting as watching a bad game of test cricket, maybe a breakaway F1 competition will give us spectators what we have missing for such a long-time: Good races, affordable tickets, overtaking, in one affordable Motor Sport Entertainment ... Good luck and Go alternative F1!

  • Comment number 65.

    One final comment, by now most of the FIA folks "must have had enough"! Not one discerning comment from a mole; Max runs a "very tight ship".

  • Comment number 66.

    I have been a little upset about how F1 is being run for some time.
    It is too big and now too expensive for Bernie and Max to be the ultimate arbitors. A general concensus must be found, or I for one (amongst many) will follow my prefered teams and drivers to whatever format they mutually decide.
    Let us not forget it's roots. I hope we can go back to a time when the race was decided on the track, NOT the courts!
    Fota has my backing!!!

  • Comment number 67.

    Well, they will have to work fast to get circuits, backing and everything else in place for next season. Made doubly difficult by the fact that they are racing at the moment.
    Any development or testing that the FOTA teams do from now on can be taken as being towards next season and a set of races that are nothing to do with the FIA and therefore out of the FIA's juristiction.

  • Comment number 68.

    Interesting comments so far, and I agree with the prevailing opinions that someone must try and do something to rein in Max & Bernie's power. However...
    It would be prudent to remember the FISA-FOCA "war" in the early 1980s, when the constructors (FOCA) ended up locked in a brutal fight for influence against a motor-sport governing body (FISA) run by an excessively-autocratic president (Jean-Marie Balestre). Several races were cancelled and the whole thing was a complete mess, at least for a while. And who were the prime movers within FOCA who took on Balestre? None other than Bernie (FOCA Chief Exec.) and Max (FOCA's legal representative).
    In view of this I suspect that Max & Bernie would have made jolly sure that they ended up with water-tight control over both the FIA and F1's commercial rights. My hunch is that no matter how strong FOTA's sporting & moral principles may be they'll find it extremely difficult to make a break-away series actually happen, particularly by 2010.
    Dreary stuff, and a universe away from the sport that I've loved since the 1960s.

  • Comment number 69.

    Ferrari have always been the overpowering bully boys, it's about time they wre made to play on a level playing field.

  • Comment number 70.

    It's about time F1 had a major shakeup. For years now it's been getting more and more boring and predictable. Put a cap on development costs but make it sensible. £40M is still silly money, drop it to £10M and let some of the smaller car makers in (I'd love to see a Lotus Racing Team for instance). The so-called technological gains from F1 are out of place in today's eco-orientated car market, let's see development costs poured into alternative fuel sources & get racing back to where it should be, in the hands of the drivers!

  • Comment number 71.

    Yet more money for the lawyers. World Lawyers Championship, anyone?

    Just as an aside, remind me of Max's original profession....

  • Comment number 72.

    Lets have a breakaway series and be done with old men with old axes to grind .Lets have a US Grand Prix at Indy .Lets have a British Grand Prix at Silverstone .Lets have a French Grand Prix ,a Canadian Grand Prix ,a German Grand Prix,etc ,etc.Lets get back to some good quality but affordable to go to F1 motor racing on proper historic organic circuits not dead lifeless far pavilions.
    time to go old men .Let the fans who love motor racing have it back.

  • Comment number 73.

    Good clear statement of the situation. But to me Mosley's arguments have some very contradictory elements.
    He claims that the budget cap 'is necessary to prevent the car manufactureres from leaving' and so to 'safeguard the future of F1'. In the next breath he says 'F1 can get along without the manufacturers' (and also without the major independents, MacLaren, Red Bull and the current championship leaders Brawn).
    Strange too that he decides that the teams are spending too much after he had introduced regs that forced them to a complete redesign of their cars which, together with the abortive attempt at the introducion of KERS, must have cost millions, !
    Max also claims that he believes F1 should be about the sport, not the commercial business of selling cars. Yet he appears happy to allow Bernie to run F1 for maximum profit to FOM rather than in the interest of the fans.
    Mosely is a clever man and a presuasive speaker but considering the contradictions in his words and actions his motives are questionable to say the least.

  • Comment number 74.

    Is MM crazy? Can't he see he should fall on his own sword. Legal proceedings aren't going to help him get his way this time. All the fans are behind FOTA and he is furhter discrediting his sport by staying in power and introducing rules no one wants and budget caps that are poorly thought out. F1 is becoming a total farce and if MM and BE can't see how much damage they are actually doing to the sports reputation they really do need to get out.

  • Comment number 75.

    Ive watched Formula One for many years as has other family members, but I feel in recent years the excitement just isn't there as much as it used to be, pre 1994 that's when Formula One was just well worth watching as Murray used to say "anything can happen and it usually does" now its more like "anything can happen but it wont", before it was engine failures, crashes all kinds of real exciting stuff kept you glued to the screen. I know safety is a priority but just I watch it cause I always have and love it but its just nothing like what it used to be with Ferrari V12 and V10's sweet sounds and the turbos in the 80's that will always be my Formula One. Hope the FIA and FOTA sort there differences and get back to racing. If there is a breakaway series bring back the V12's or turbos :P

  • Comment number 76.

    Whilst I agree with some sort of budget cap, I think the way that Max Mosley has suddenly imposed it is appalling - it should have been more gradual and there should have been consultation.

    In many ways I feel that FOTA, indirectly, is representing the fans and the excitement.

    Year after year it would seem F1 is about Max Mosley and I'm sick of it.

  • Comment number 77.

    Thank you very much Bernie and Max for helping to build F1 together with Ferrari and the other teams to what it is today, but it's now time for you to leave the stage. Nobody will miss you, but we would miss McLaren, we would miss Raikkonen, Alondo, Hamilton & Co., and we will miss Silverstone etc. Bring on the new championship Now! I truly hope this new championship is going ahead and not just empty words. Enough of this nonsense. Can the TV companies please stand up and offer fair deals to the new championship, so we can move on and forget Bernie and Max, who can retire as very wealthy men from the money they made from you and me.

  • Comment number 78.

    F1 cannot survive without Ferrari. Ferrari cannot survive without credible and oppositions with name recognitions, which to an average man on the street means the car manufacturers. F1 cannot stop teams from withdrawing, otherwise Honda would have been sued already. Even if FIA goes ahead and sue the manufacturers and win, the amount of money the manufacturers have to pay is still peanuts. One can even envision the manufacturers help their customer teams paying, such as Mercedes paying for Brawn just to make sure Brawn does not need to worry about its finance and reduces its chance to jump ship.

    Meanwhile Mosley is up for election. He can be voted out and be replaced by someone who has the backing of the major car manufacturers. Unlike a sex scandal, car manufacturers are big business and have plenty of influence on the voters from the individual national automobile associations.

  • Comment number 79.

    I believe it is pretty obvious that F1 is not run at its best. Its a sport that the average Joe can only see on TV because paying for a tickets, travel and parking, never mind hotels, is just not affordable.

    The vast majority of races are taking place in countries that don't have any representation in the sport, be it a team or a driver, and are in time zones that force us to get up at 3.00AM to watch a race?

    Starting a new championship, and lets call it the Tour GP, could allow FOTA to straighten this mess out. More races in Europe, less in Asia and the Middle East. Lower ticket prices and no more shady deals with 3rd parties. If run correctly there is no reason why the income from a new and better run championship shouldn't be sufficient to keep teams interested in participation.

    I think there is a real opportunity here to make the sport more accessible and enjoyable.

  • Comment number 80.

    I really do hope this stalemate will be resolved soon. It's not good for the sport and for the fans and of course the drivers. As I see it, IMO, Max has been imposing rules which he has not involved the teams in the process. The real heart of F1 are the teams. They made F1 the most technologically advanced motor sport in the world today and having them with no say in the formulation of rules is unfair. Am not saying they should dictate the rules. I'm just saying that they should be consulted on every aspect of the formulation of rules that they will eventually have to follow and adhere to. Max said months ago that F1 can live without Ferrari or the major manufacturers. Now that FOTA has declared to setup a rival series, FIA is now planning to file legal suits against the teams who will break away. What gives?

  • Comment number 81.

    If the FOTA teams break away, they simply can name the championship Formula Libre, which back in the old days, was the formula that actually was more interesting and superior than F1. If they do that, then there is no contract violations that can worry the tracks that sign with Ecclestone.

    The FOTA teams can also embarrass MM by actually joining the FIA F1 championship. All they need to do is to only provide engines to their FOTA customer teams. It will take quite some time for Cosworth to catch up. It will be a farce if the FOTA teams finish a race so far ahead that the non FOTA teams that rely on Cosworth end up so far back that they do not even get classified in a race. Imagine a Williams-Cosworth being lapped six times in a race. No matter how much technical freedom the capped teams have, they cannot make up a 100 bhp disadvantage.

  • Comment number 82.

    FOTA seem to have got Silverstone on-side for next season's possible breakaway circus - it will be interesting to see how that shakes out this weekend when Bernie or Max are interviewed, especially as Silverstone has nothing to lose.

    My overwhelming reaction to this is that it's all so exciting, can't wait for the next steps in the negotiations to be unveiled! The battle of the giants.... almost more entertaining than the racing.

  • Comment number 83.

    For the sake of Motorsport the Ecclestone Mosley show needs to be booted out and a transparent and professional regime put in place. Oh bring the day those two get their come upance!

  • Comment number 84.

    IMO the planned breakaway is brilliant-it's just what 'F1' needs, although it could not be called that! I sincerely hope the 8 teams involved don't weaken and give in at the last moment. Come the end of the F1 season if the 'F1-8' have not signed for 2010, Ecclestone and Moseley will be needing pampers. Apart from Force India, Williams, and 3 new teams, nobody else will be at Melbourne, and that includes the fans.

    Moseley does come across as a rather arrogant fellow-to paraphrase his recent interview (from Silverstone)'We own the 'F1' name so they'll have to come back/We've left the door open a little bit for them'.

    So the blue blazer set want to sue the 8 F1 teams? Bring it on I say. If the teams don't sign for 2010 the FIA are stuffed and they know it. Then we can get some decent circuits back on the agenda (Imola, Silverstone, Spa, Dijon etc ) not the micky mouse 'Scalextric set' circuits they've started using over the last few years. My dream would be to see 'F1 cars race Road America in the USA.

    Just heard (7:00pm GMT) on another news site! allegations that the breakaway (they're now being called the FOTA 8) teams may have a done deal with Monaco which would seriously undermine the power of the FIA. Also that next Wednesday,in Paris, Moseley might be up against a vote of 'no confidence'. Good riddance I say. Role on 2010.

  • Comment number 85.

    Wouldn't the bigger teams (who can afford it, such as Ferrari) be able to enter teams in each of the potentialy rival series if they wanted to? If they find they are legally bound to F1, could they not enter a "weakened" team there (Similar to the big English Premiership football teams in the Carling Cup) and focus their full efforts on the rival series - if the big teams publicly portrayed the F1 teams as their 'B' teams, it would quickly discredit F1 as second rate, making a new series more successful, much quicker?

  • Comment number 86.

    Why can't the FIA accept that it needs to be democratic and have an elected representative from the teams and drivers on the board then any decisions could be accepted by everyone. If Mosley cannot accept this then he should go, if not then I would not blame FOTA for leaving. This should also go for steward's enquiries and then we may not have some of the daft decisions that have occured over the last two or three years. These positions could be rotated yearly around the teams and drivers.
    With regards to capping, could there not be a spending limit of say £50,000000 (To be decided by the FIA, Teams & Drivers) and if any team or teams over spent, then the overspend should be distributed equally between the teams who kept within the limit, thus helping the weeker teams and encouraging the wealthier teams to cut their costs.

  • Comment number 87.

    Very balanced stuff, Mr Benson, very fair ... all round "very F1 journalist", really ... so tell me, then, in the new Fota world order, will F1 writers be any less supine? That alone would get me cheering for the rebels.

    The oddest thing in this whole affair has been to witness the behaviour of what must be most "embedded" species of writer in the history of world journalism -- the F1 correspondent.

    Clearly all F1 writers -- re-educated has they have been in the ways of Bernie & Co -- have all long forgotten they actually have a point of view. So we have been entertained by the graceless dance of a multitude of unreasonably well fed hacks eager to sound "opinionated" while at the same time not wanting to queer their patch with either side of the dispute. So whose side ARE you one, dude?

    I can't wait till it's over when at least some of you will boldly put the knife into whoever gets the boot at the end of this high farce between British toff and Italian Count.

    Maybe Fota should let it be known that they are will be offering additional sauna services along with accreditation ... maybe THAT will get someone off that fence.

    Care to take the lead?

  • Comment number 88.

    This is about the most exciting thing thats happened in F1 for about 15 years.

  • Comment number 89.

    The FIA "own F1", really? don't tell Bernie that. The FIA are "merely" the governing body, of F1 and many other forms of motorsport, but one has to agree that Max seems to have forgotten it's a democratic assembly, and his knee has jerked once to often.

    We forgot, not long ago we had the GPMA, they threatened a break away, indeed, they had circuits lined up, a massive budget in place and were persauded not to by promises by? Mr M Moseley. The trouble with brinkmanship is, there has to be a brink, and sooner or later, you may have to jump over it. One factor that may come into play is the price that has to be paid to FOM, Sepang is struggling to justify the payment required just to hold a race, and we have lost circuits/races already. "Cost cutting" should start at home!! The great journalist, L J K Setright said, on seeing the 1968 Lotus 49, painted in Gold Leaf colours, "that's it, give it thirty years and F1 will implode". Take a bow LJK.

  • Comment number 90.

    #85 FruitMonster I think the teams have to commit to F1 or get out and never darken F1 doors again. That's what makes this situation so interesting, the stakes are so high.

  • Comment number 91.

    I have just seen Max Mosley's interview on the website, and i have to say i agree with him on this one.

    One thing that i agree on in particular is when he said it would be like having a ompetitive football match without a referee. The teams just cannot agree with one another, and when they do, they all interpret the agreement differently (i.e the double diffuser row). There must be a separate governing body that makes decisions on these matters, and one that is democratic, that the owners/managers of the teams can be in if they are elected. This would mean that there would be not only the teams owners/managers, but people that are completely unbiased and uninfluenced on the decisions made.

    However, i think that max should concede that a budget cap of £40m is unrealistic for the big teams. Teams like Ferrari and McLaren, who have budgets of over £200m, and 700-800 staff, simply cannot cut down their costs that fast. It is unrealistic to expect these teams to, in one year, cut half their workforce and reduce their budgets by £160m+. Apart from anything else it's immoral to the workforce and fans, that half of them are being made redundant.

    Max should introduce a system where teams have a spending cap that is reduced each year, so that F1 is sustainable and also so the big teams do not need to overnight sack half of their workforces. Maybe something like saying for the 2010 series the cap should be £100m, and then decreasing £20m each year until they reach the £40m mark. This seems to me to be a far better plan than the one Max Mosley is setting out.

    Also, who thinks the FIA will be so biased towards Ferrari this season?

  • Comment number 92.

    @56 Fabius-Maximus. How about Ron Denis - Providing he keeps Silverstone?

  • Comment number 93.

    Could we have some more information about CVC? Surely Max and Bernie aren't the only bad guys in all this? Aren't they likely to be doing what they're told?

  • Comment number 94.

    You have to just sit there and laugh at what Ecclestone says. This is probably the most important thing that could possibly happen in Formula One and he just keeps joking!

  • Comment number 95.

    @ 50 Bogglehole
    With regards to Bridgestone, how about Goodyear?

  • Comment number 96.

    Formula One has always been recognised as the best of the best of the best. By putting a salary cap on the series, it will become the average of the average of the average. I certainly wouldn't pay to see cars ambling around a track at less-than 100mph because the teams don't have enough money to make the cars goes faster.

    Bernie & Max have had the sport by the ***** for too long. It's time for fresh faces at the top and an end to the salary car. If teams can't afford to be in Formula One then there's always A1GP or carting!!

  • Comment number 97.

    The break away series must be sponsored by Carslberg, because Carlsberg don't do break aways, but if they did...

  • Comment number 98.

    I back Fota in this dispute, it seems to me that F1 has been run as a feifdom for far too long and things need to change.

    I'd watch a Formula-Zero series; If anyone from FOTA is reading this, you might want to check if Formula-Zero and F0 are registered trademarks. On second thoughts, wait for a bit while I register them and you can buy them off me :-)

  • Comment number 99.

    May be Mosley's formidable intellect - he is an incredibly sharp political operator. Also he is a most stupid idiot leader of FAI in motor sport history.
    I believe Foto will bring fair and equal opportunity to all teams and all drivers. How many times FAI has changed rule in past 5 years? How many time Mosley chock drivers' throat for increasing License fee in the past?
    Ending FAI and FOM era is most important things happening for future motor sport. Mosley is always threatening to teams and drivers as Bernie is threatening to formula 1 host country for night race too. We Asia Pacific region was threatened like second class citizen by Bernie. Ending those Mafia style 2 leaders from Motor sport is good for Motor sport fan around the world. Motor sport will be more enjoyable in future by Fota management championship. The team will get more money allocation and driver's license fee will become affordable as well as spectator's ticket.
    I'll say it's fantastic. How do you like to call the name for future fotas championship?

  • Comment number 100.

    As much as I sympathise with all the "down with the FIA, up with FOTA" talk, I'm confused as to why people think a series run by the manufacturers would be better. They might be cohesive when up against the FIA, but I can't help but think that, if the breakaway series DOES happen, everyone is going to have their own agenda. They're all in it to make money, just as much as Bernie is...

    AlexHolowczak - fair enough, chap - heck of a coincidence, though. :)

 

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