F1 »

'Concerned' Ecclestone predicts few 2010 F1 entries by deadline

Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he foresees 'the majority' of current Formula 1 teams not submitting an entry for the 2010 world championship when the stipulated deadline arrives on 29 May – as he admitted that he is 'concerned' at the prospect of Ferrari following through with their threat of walking away from the sport over the budget cap row.

With just eight days now remaining before the deadline, the teams and governing body remain intensely at loggerheads over Max Mosley's unpopular new £40 million cap set for introduction into the top flight next year, with further crisis talks due to be held in Monaco this weekend.

Whilst the FIA President argues F1 will not survive without such radical cost-cutting measures, the competitors in the guise of the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) fear the move would engender a 'fundamentally unfair and perhaps even biased' two-tier F1 of haves and have-nots, likely penalising larger and richer entrants – with Ferrari and former double world champion Fernando Alonso suggesting it would significantly reduce the spectacle of what is at the moment the premier single-seater series the world over to that more akin to a junior category [see separate story – click here].

Ferrari, Renault, Toyota and Red Bull have all vowed to withdraw should the rules not be amended, but Mosley is standing firm – leaving commercial rights-holder Ecclestone to surmise that entries are likely to be few and far between at the end of the month and that there will be no 'quick fix' to the enduring stalemate.

“We'll have to wait and see,” the Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive told international news agency Reuters in Monte Carlo. “I think the majority probably won't put an entry in. We don't want to lose Ferrari. I hope it's unlikely, [but] I am concerned – I don't want them leaving. I don't think anybody does.”

In explaining the teams' stance, Toyota Motorsport President John Howett underlined the importance both of guarantees from the FIA and unanimity within FOTA, with an attempted walk-out during the Heathrow Airport meeting late last week scuppered when a number of team principals refused to join in.

“Governance is a fundamental issue [for Toyota],” the Englishman stressed, “and for us that's a principle that needs to be clarified before we can actually talk about the detail. The danger we had in the meeting [with Mosley] was being sucked into the detail.

“We need to just understand clearly among the members of FOTA what the position is. We need a tri-partite Concorde Agreement where it is absolutely clear how the regulatory framework can be changed – it's very simple. I don't think we want to actually dictate the rules, but those rules must be changed in compliance with a fixed structure which is legally binding. At the moment that is not the case.

“There is a high probability that we won't enter before the deadline, because I don't think that those items will be clarified. If nothing changes, I don't think that professionally it is possible to commit the company to do that. I can't recommend that in my position.

“With the investment we have and the social responsibility, we need at least a three-year vision of what we are participating in and what the future is and how it can be redefined. At the moment it is too uncertain.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
10.09.2006 Monza, Italy, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Sunday
Jenson Button [credit: Crash.net]
Haas F1 livery updated Monaco GP
Fernando Alonso greets fans at the Spanish Grand Prix
F1 2017 video game logo
Fernando Alonso in a Rubik`s Cube mosaic...
Thomas becomes the unexpected star of the Spanish GP
14.05.2017 - Race, Celebration, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 race winner
14.05.2017 - Race, Celebration, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 race winner
14.05.2017 - Race, Celebration, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 race winner
14.05.2017 - Race, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36 and Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
14.05.2017 - Race, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H leads Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Alan D - Unregistered

May 21, 2009 2:23 PM

When people talk about a budget cap, they never consider the problem of depreciation etc. If a team invests in a wind tunnel then it isn't an expense all in one year. It is spread out over many years. When people talk about a team spending 100 million a year, a fair chunk of that will be the amortised cost of wind tunnels, depreciation of assets, long term investment for the future. In one sense, teams have already spent a sizable chunk of their budget for next year and the year after. They can't just magically cut back to Max's 40 mill. The more committed a team is to F1, the more the immediate budget cap will hurt them.

Alan D - Unregistered

May 21, 2009 2:15 PM

If Bernie wasn't bleeding so much money out of the sport I'd have sympathy for him right now. He wants teams to commit to longer terms so he can market the series knowing in advance what he's working with. The teams would probably want to commit to longer terms because F1 is their long-term business, but they can't do that if Max is rewriting the regs every year. Imagine if Max next decides to ban simulators in an effort to reduce costs. New teams coming in will say "Great, we couldn't afford one anyway". Teams like Ferrari and Mcl would say "hang on, we've already spent millions developing our simulators." Max would say "Tough, I make the rules, and you cannot dictate to the sport".

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.