FIA President Max Mosley has finally conceded that he is 'willing to compromise' over the controversial budget cap row that is rocking Formula 1 – and he is 'very optimistic and confident' that a solution will be agreed by the stated 2010 entry deadline tomorrow (Friday) that will avert an impending crisis.
Following another meeting of the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) on Wednesday – one publicly marked by the temporary suspension of Williams from the organisation, in response to the former multiple world championship-winning Grove-based concern having earlier this week become the first of the present incumbents to sign up to participation next year – it is understood that a resolution is now all-but in place.
Though current world championship leaders Brawn GP and traditional tail-enders Force India refused to back the expulsion of fellow independent outfit Williams and look set to similarly submit their entries on Friday regardless of the final outcome of the dispute, it is believed that – thanks in large part to the stringent efforts of McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh and Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President – a scenario has been reached that FOTA is confident will prove satisfactory to Mosley.
The deal is centred upon a €100 million cap in 2010, dropping to Mosley's stipulated €45 million limit a year later, with further concessions for the competitors – of whom Ferrari, Toyota, Renault and Red Bull have all threatened to walk away over the new regulations – including one staff member per team, such as Red Bull Racing's highly-paid chief technical officer Adrian Newey, being excluded from the cap in much the same way as will be drivers and bosses.
“I am willing to compromise,” Mosley told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport
, “but only if small and new teams can operate with much lower budgets and are not much slower than the others. I am very optimistic about a solution. The big and small teams have very different interests, and we have to protect everyone.
“Will Ferrari enter by Friday? I think so. I am optimistic and confident. Ferrari is very important for Formula 1, but Formula 1 is very important for Ferrari as well.”