Quick summary on FIA vs teams situation

Ferrari and FIA - allies no more ...

Ferrari and FIA - allies no more ...

The latest version of 2010 Formula 1 regulations triggered an open conflict between FIA and the current F1 teams. Several teams were unhappy with both what is in the regulations and how the regulations were pushed through. Toyota, Red Bull, Renault announced they will not enter 2010 season if the regulations remain unchanged but the cherry on the pie was the similar announcement made by Ferrari a week ago. The teams met with Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley last Friday to discuss the ways how to end the stalemate. The initial reports were that no progress was made but the interviews Mosley and Ecclestone gave to BBC seem to tell a bit different story. The only things we heard from teams are that Ferrari are taking FIA to court (today) and that Toyota’s John Howett was trying to get all the teams to walk out of the meeting …


In the meantime interestingly timed announcements came from Lola and Litespeed about their 2010 F1 entry intentions. And if Ken Anderson is to be taken seriously the USF1 team is moving ahead with their preparations for 2010 season.

So, where the F1 things stand right now:

1) Both Mosley and Ecclestone seem to have confirmed that the controversial two tier system will be scrapped – link to BBC interview with Max Mosley (click here), link to BBC interview with Bernie Ecclestone (click here). It is interesting how low key these rather significant interviews from Mosley and Ecclestone remained. Ecclestone’s words have been already mentioned around but there has been very little (or none ?) discussion about what Mosley had to tell us …

2) Budget cap – FIA does not seem to be willing to back off from the 40 mil budget cap, Bernie Ecclestone in the above interview says that everybody is happy with the budget cap just the size of it is still to be agreed on. I am not sure whom Mr. Ecclestone means when he says everybody. Stefano Domenicali was not really willing to say on record the same on behalf of all the teams (watch here) … According to Mosley the teams have till Friday this week to present some alternative cost cutting measures. There is also the question about what would become of that “voluntary” budget cap once those “more technical freedoms” for the capped teams are scrapped.

3) The timing – According to the new regulations the teams have from May 22 to May 29 to submit their 2010 F1 entries. There is room for 13 teams. Max Mosley believes that about half of the current teams may miss the deadline. They could still enter at a later date (and pay a fine for late entry submission) but they also risk being locked out if FIA fills up the grid with entries submitted on time. The announcements from Lola and Litespeed seem to be very conveniently timed to put some pressure on existing 10 F1 teams …

4) And then there is the law suit. If the French court rules in favour of Ferrari the 2010 regulations will have to be suspended. That would mean definitelly no two tier championship, no budget cap and no set period for the teams to submit their 2010 entries for example. The existing teams would not probably mind as they have all the infrastructure in place. The new teams however will be running out of time … The hearing is today afternoon but no matter what the result will be we can expect the loosing party to appeal and the matter to drag on for a while.

The talks are to continue today in Monaco.

4 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Simon C GrahamNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for the update. An interesting question on the budget cap is: how will it be policed? Is the 40 mil (or whatever the final figure turns out to be) a cap on spend in the 2010 season, or spend on development of the 2010 car? As http://www.sidepodcast.com/ recently pointed out, some teams will have already worked substantially on their 2010 car. Will they have kept all the receipts …?

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      I think the policing of the cap is for the teams bigger concern than the cap itself. The final figure for 2010 can still be adjusted to reflect the spending that might have already occured or some contracts the teams may have in place. But policing the cap in the environment where traditionally everybody is an expert in finding and exploiting loopholes, that will be interesting …

  2. AdrianNo Gravatar says:

    Do you think the EU Commission ruling of 2001 that the FIA may not have any influence over the commercial aspects of the sport holds any water? Also, Max Moseley’s statement to the UK Government Select Committee meeting in 2000 that he can dictate on matters of safety but only persuade the F1 teams on matters that have a bearing on the running of their commercial affairs.

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      Well, as someone said few days ago, FIA is only writing the rules for F1 beacuse the teams allow FIA to do so. Obviously now the teams are unhappy and want to stop FIA … The problem is that there are probably many other agreements in place between teams, FIA, FOM etc and who knows what all those documents contain …

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