FOTA teams to commence the preparation for a new Championship

The FOTA teams met today at Renault’s Enstone factory ahead of yet another deadline imposed on them by FIA. After the four hour meeting the FOTA teams (Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, BMW Sauber, Toyota, Brawn, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso) issued this statement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11 Comments Post a Comment
  1. TimmieNo Gravatar says:

    Yep, as expected after the mid week response from Mosley of his way or the highway.

    Unfortunately, this will mean a pretty serious decline in the series for the short term future. For all of us fans it also causes some split decisions as to loyalties as well. Get the feeling that this will indefintely drag on for some months yet and you can bet your ass that Bernie will sue the teams that he can over rights and all that too.

    Hopefully, a new series now that it does seem the path that has been chosen, will be ready to go by the start of next year and teams that do choose to go down this path continue to stay as unified as they are right now!!!

  2. TimmieNo Gravatar says:

    On a side note, with basically every driver jumping ship too, what will Max Mosely have to show? Absolutely nothing i don’t he understands that fans support teams and drivers, not the championship, he was always the one who should have been making the deals with FOTA, it’s just that it took so many years for the teams themselves to figure out that they had to stop arguing with eachother and band together to make a difference!

    Good luck to them and you are prety likely to see Rosberg jump ship from the Williams team too and follow BMW or McLaren or something like that. Why would you want to stay in a series where you will shortly no longer be the premier sport?

  3. Simon C GrahamNo Gravatar says:

    A historic day if the intent comes to fruition. Brinkmanship is imprinted in the DNA of the sport’s management of course, and we still have eight months of makeup-and-compromise time until March 2010. Three questions: what is a realistic lead time to launch a new series (supposing prep work has been ongoing in the background); could FIA action against Ferrari and RB / TR legally prohibit them from taking part in a competitor series; and what are the chances Williams would or could extricate themselves from their voluntary commitment for 2010 to join the new series?

    • TimmieNo Gravatar says:

      Williams will stay in the FIA championship as will Force India, they don’t have a choice in the matter.
      Next years championship will probably be shorter than usual for the FOTA run one as, they will need to rebuild everything from scratch and find new venues (Silverstone could be one!!!) as they will have trouble agreeing to race at some venues that are committed to the FIA championship, though there will be a few that won’t have a problem with hosting both…We have a good chance that many races will return to the European area and races from other countries will take a bit of a hammering and be dropped, at least for the time being.

      FOTA are taking a huge risk in doing this, though i would rather they did than stay under the power of the FIA so hopefully the millions of issues they now face can be solved.

  4. NickNo Gravatar says:

    First visit to this site…..

    This is all pretty serious… To echo/ add to some of the points raised above:

    Re. Ferrari’s legal obligations to remain in F1 / not participate in a breakaway series, it seems the legal situation is far more complicated than is being reported. The FIA site has a fascinating exchange of letters between Ferrari and the FIA (runs to 27 pages but well worth reading) in which both parties raise very valid points about breaches of contract. If it goes to court it could go either way, as far as I can see.

    Re, Williams/Rosberg: If, as the situation currently appears, the 8 FOTA teams exit F1, but Williams and Force India remain, along with new teams, Williams and Rosberg will view themselves to potentially be favoutrites to win the F1 Drivers and Constructors championship – however devalued this has become. They may well be happy to title contenders in the original F1,rather than also rans in a breakaway league.

    However, as has been said, nothing is set in stone as yet. FIA will surely be in crisis meeting over the next few days, and will do all they can to keep the FOTA teams in F1. Truly FIA needs FOTA more than the other way round, and even FIA aren’t foolish enough to cut off their nose to spite their face. This is far from resolved.

    • TimmieNo Gravatar says:

      Ummm…I believe the FIA are foolish enough to cut off their nose seeing as they are now in that exact position and have clearly been heading in that direction for months now and have continued to this day to be ignorant of that fact.

  5. TimmieNo Gravatar says:

    The legal issue between FIA and Ferrari could be argued that their agreement said they had control over some rule changes and whether it would be implemented or not, FIA already won against them in court on this exact ruling, giving Ferrari the opportunity to use that same reasoning for a reason of breach of contract.
    Red Bull are a different story as no real details are public on exactly what ties them to the FIA, though more likely they are tied to FOM as Dietritz and Bernie and buddies….

    Again, this is all pretty circumstantial as to what legal implications will come into affect and im sure we will hear all about them in the coming months, probably right up to the start of next years campaigns for both championships!

  6. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    FIA does not seem to be ready to compromise:

    “The FIA is disappointed but not surprised by FOTA’s inability to reach a compromise in the best interests of the sport,”

    “It is clear that elements within FOTA have sought this outcome throughout the prolonged period of negotiation and have not engaged in the discussions in good faith.

    “The FIA cannot permit a financial arms race in the championship nor can the FIA allow FOTA to dictate the rules of Formula 1.”

    The FIA says that its deadline for teams to lodge unconditional entries will remain as the close of business today, with the full 2010 entry list to be announced on Saturday.

    “The deadline for unconditional entries to the 2010 FIA Formula World Championship will expire this evening. The 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship entry list will be announced tomorrow.”

  7. psychyNo Gravatar says:

    i would love to see a new fota-series without max and bernie. maybe we will also get back some good tracks.
    but to be honest i think at the end they will find a “clean” solution. but I can’t imagine bernie refusing to all this money and power just as a matter of principle. also if that may would mean max has to go.

    but if there will be really two series, then bernie’s one will die.

  8. bmwf1guyNo Gravatar says:

    Last year it was about time that the teams formed an association to protect their interests. Not only form this association, but use it as well and I am very disappointing with the avenue of ‘negotiation’ on the part of the FIA.

    It is indeed a critical time for F1, but in a way a good time. I still strongly believe that this is all posturing on the part of the FIA and on the part of FOTA and will go to the 11th hour so to speak before a resolution is reached. If my belief is wrong, I have no doubt that FOTA will go their own way and produce a series and that scares me, but only based on past breakaway series. Historically they don’t work and both sides suffer horribly.

    FOTA has to be taken seriously by the FIA as an aggressive association with powers and only after this mess is settled and the dust settles will the FIA take FOTA seriously and the road to a mutual respect begin.

    In the mean time, stick it to the FIA as much as they can!!
    .-= bmwf1guy´s last blog ..Mario Theissen Speaks on FOTA Breakaway From F1 =-.

  9. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    I still see this a political posturing to try to gain an edge in negotiations. That being said, it brings back memories of the split between Indy and Champ here in the states. The result was two series, neither with much specatator support (and probably the reason Nascar became the dominant spectator sport in the US). In the end, both series were on the brink of financial collapse and Champ died.

    The new combined series is nothing like the original Champ Car series, although it is getting better.

    I hope that FOTA, FIA, and F1 pay very close attention to that split, because it appears to parrallel what is happening in their own yard.

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