Will Peter Sauber keep his former team in F1 ?
Following the failure of BMW and Peter Sauber to reach a takeover deal on time to sign the new Concorde Agreement a vacancy on the 2010 has been created. Max Mosley wasted no time and wrote to the teams on his reserve list (unsuccessful candidates for 2010 F1 entry as well as BMW Sauber) informing them that about the newly available place on the F1 grid.
This may look harsh on Peter Sauber who still continues to look for a way to save the team he created in the early 90s. On the other hand the it is hard to blame FIA for this action. If anyone is to jump in and fill the empty space left behind by BMW they need to know sooner rather than later.
No agreement on team's future yet
Mario Theissen and Peter Sauber issued separate statements today on the future of BMW Sauber F1 team following BMW’s decision to quit Formula 1:
“Since the announcement on 29 July of our strategic realignment, we have done everything in our power to reach a rapid agreement on the sale of the team based at Hinwil. Regrettably, despite every effort, this has proved unsuccessful. The tight timeframe we faced simply did not allow us and the interested parties and investors enough time to find a solution for such a complex transaction. This means the team cannot sign the Concorde Agreement at present. The aim now is, over the coming weeks, to find a solution together with potential interested parties and Peter Sauber. Beyond that, we will see the 2009 season through to its conclusion with our unstinting sporting commitment.” – Mario Theissen
We all probably expected this to be a quiet week. It all turned out a bit differently.
BMW decided to pull the plug on F1. They surprised not only the public but also their drivers who had no idea such an option was even on cards (at least that is what Heidefeld, Kubica and Klien said). The focus of BMW debates is now shifting from “Why they decided to quit ?” to “What is next ?”
Mario Theissen distancing himself ?
There have been speculations about more manufacturers following Honda out of F1 but the teams talked about were Toyota and Renault. The sudden (?) decision of BMW to end its involvement in Formula One came as a surprise or a bit of a shock. So why have they decided to quit and why so suddenly ?
BMW to exit F1
About eight months after Honda pulled the plug on Formula One another manufacturer announced its F1 exit. Here is the full news as published by BMW short while ago:
The BMW Group will not continue its Formula One campaign after the end of the 2009 season. Resources freed up as a result are to be dedicated to the development of new drive technologies and projects in the field of sustainability. BMW will continue to be actively involved in other motor sports series. The landmark decision to restructure BMW Motorsport’s activities was made at the Board of Management’s meeting yesterday.
BMW has called an emergency press conference for Wednesday. Dr. Norbert Reithofer, the chairman of the BMW board, Dr. Klaus Draeger, the director for development, and Mario Theissen, BMW motorsport director will be present. There hasn’t been any confirmation what will the press conference be about other than we can expect imporatant news. The fact that BMW is sending its top brass to attend indeed suggests that we are in for some big news.
We will see more when the BMW top guns assemble in Munich later today and tell us what is on their mind. But the expectations are that BMW is about to follow Honda and pull out from Formula One …
Mark Webber - happy to stay with Red Bull
There are many question marks about the 2010 Formula One grid but one thing seems to be certain now – Mark Webber will stay with Red Bull. The German GP winner agreed a new deal with his to keep him at Red Bull in 2010.
FIA issued a press release following the confusing events of yesterday. Here is the full text of June 9 FIA press release:
When I said in my previous post that we are in for interesting few days in Germany I haven’t expected this bizzare turn of events.
First the statement from FIA:
The eight FOTA teams are to meet with the suspended members (Force India, Williams) and the new entrants (Campos, Manor and USF1) at the Nurburgring on Wednesday to begin discussing the regulations and other plans for 2010 season.
It will be interesting to see what will come out of these talks. The peace deal between FIA and FOTA is one thing, but there are also 5 non FOTA teams listed as 2010 entries.
There has been a lot of noise surrounding the letters Max Mosley sent out last night reminding non FOTA teams about their rights and FOTA members about the International Sporting Code.
66. Amendments to Supplementary Regulations
No amendments shall be made to the Supplementary Regulations after the beginning of the period for receiving entries, unless unanimous agreement is given by all competitors already entered, or by decision of the stewards of the meeting for reasons of force majeure or safety (see Article 141).
Last week FOTA and FIA finally reached some sort of a deal and made peace. While the deal is still in place that peace hasn’t lasted for long. Instead of shutting up and moving on both sides obviously prefer to continue their war of words. Some FOTA representatives while presenting the deal to public could not resist to make few provocative remarks aimed at Max Mosley. Max Mosley being Max Mosley pulled the “I may reconsider and run again in October” weapon from his arsenal. So what is next ?
Well I believe that while the big egos will keep on talking on both sides of the divide the breakaway series is dead (for now) and the preparations for 2010 Formula One season will now go full steam ahead.
The World Motor Sport Council met in Paris on 24 June 2009. The following decisions were taken:
FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
All currently competing teams have committed to the FIA Formula One World Championship.
There will be no alternative series or championship and the rules for 2010 onwards will be the 2009 regulations as well as further regulations agreed prior to 29 April 2009.
As part of this agreement, the teams will, within two years, reduce the costs of competing in the championship to the level of the early 1990s. The manufacturer teams have agreed to assist the new entries for 2010 by providing technical assistance.
The manufacturer teams have further agreed to the permanent and continuing role of the FIA as the sport’s governing body. They have also committed to the commercial arrangements for the FIA Formula One World Championship until 2012 and have agreed to renegotiate and extend this contract before the end of that period.
All teams will adhere to an upgraded version of the governance provisions of the 1998 Concorde Agreement.
The following teams have been accepted for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.
SCUDERIA FERRARI MARLBORO (FERRARI)
VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES (McLAREN MERCEDES)
BMW SAUBER F1 TEAM (BMW SAUBER)
RENAULT F1 TEAM (RENAULT)
PANASONIC TOYOTA RACING (TOYOTA)
SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO (STR TBA)
RED BULL RACING (RBR TBA)
AT&T WILLIAMS (WILLIAMS TOYOTA)
FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM (FORCE INDIA MERCEDES)
BRAWN GP FORMULA ONE TEAM (BRAWN TBA)
CAMPOS META TEAM (CAMPOS COSWORTH)
MANOR GRAND PRIX (MANOR COSWORTH)
TEAM US F1 (TEAM US F1 COSWORTH)
In view of this new agreement and with the prospect of a stable future for Formula One, FIA President Max Mosley has confirmed his decision not to stand for re-election in October this year.