Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo has described today's landmark FOTA (Formula One Teams' Association) reunion in Geneva as 'an unprecedented moment in Formula 1 history' – as agreement was reached on proposals ranging from a further reduction in testing to the introduction of a new points system and shorter grands prix.
Following a meeting between all team principals save for Force India chairman Vijay Mallya the previous day – drawing upon information gleaned from a rigorous global audience survey carried out in 17 countries earlier this year – FOTA revealed to the wider world a roadmap that it argues will enhance the sport's stability, sustainability, substance and show.
The study that was conducted canvassed the views of existing fans but also, for the first time, drew on insights from a cross-section of general and infrequent followers of the sport, in line with FOTA's stated ambition to broaden as well as to deepen the appeal of the top flight.
A statement released revealed that 'these proposals will ensure the retention of Formula 1's unique and essential sporting DNA, improve the show for all audiences, reduce costs and increase the value proposition to the major stakeholders'.
The technical, sporting and commercial measures that will now be put forward to rule-makers the FIA have been designed to safeguard F1's future in an age of increasing economic uncertainty, and form a dynamic package of unanimously agreed initiatives which, pending the approval of the governing body, will take effect over the next two years.
“This is an unprecedented moment in Formula 1 history,” enthused FOTA Chairman di Montezemolo. “Above all else, for the first time the teams are unified and steadfast – with a clear, collective vision. Thanks to this unity, all the teams have already managed to make a significant reduction to their costs for 2009.
“While we will continue to compete vigorously on track, we all share one common goal – to work together to improve Formula 1 by ensuring its stability, sustainability, substance and show for the benefit of our most important stakeholder, namely the consumer.
“It is with this mindset that we now intend to work hard, with our partners at the FIA and FOM (Bernie Ecclestone's commercial rights-company, Formula One Management), with our shared goal being to optimise the future of Formula 1.”