Max Mosley has fired the latest broadside in the ongoing FIA-FOTA war over the controversial £40 million budget cap he intends to introduce into Formula 1 – insisting that the teams' demands are 'unrealistic' and that it is the governing body and the governing body alone that determines the rules.
Nine of the present incumbents – all save for Williams, who broke rank several days earlier – signed up to compete in the 2010 world championship at the eleventh hour at the end of last week, and on the strict proviso that the cap is not implemented. Ferrari, Toyota, Renault and Red Bull have all threatened to quit should FIA President Mosley press on with his radical cost-cutting plans, and BMW's support is also believed to be wavering.
The teams have argued that a reduction in expenditure from what is in some cases as much as £150 million or £200 million a year to an annual budget of just £40 million in time for the start of next season is simply unworkable, and all are opposed to a 'two-tier' system whereby those competitors adhering to the cap would benefit from 'technical freedoms' unavailable to their free-spending rivals – with Ferrari and FOTA (Formula One Teams' Association) President Luca di Montezemolo suggesting such a scenario would be 'fundamentally unfair and perhaps even biased'.
team principal Stefano Domenicali has added weight to that by contending that in the absence of a new, commercial rights-governing Concorde Agreement in 2012 that banishes the cap, all of the FOTA entries will be 'invalid'. Only Williams has submitted its application unconditionally – and the multiple world championship-winning, Grove-based outfit was subsequently suspended from its FOTA membership for its 'betrayal'.
Mosley, however, is adamant that the teams' own draft for a new Concorde Agreement was finalised 'so late' as to make it impossible for it to be signed before the 12 June date for the announcement of successful 2010 candidates – and in any case, the Englishman dismissed most of FOTA's claims and proposals as being 'unrealistic', and made it clear that he still has absolutely no intention at all of caving in and surrendering to their demands.
The 68-year-old has long held that without severe cost-cutting measures in what is substantially the world's most expensive sport, F1 will have no future – and he pointed out the irony of the location of the teams' meeting in Monte Carlo over the weekend of the Monaco Grand Prix late last month, with the discussions taking place aboard Renault F1 managing director Flavio Briatore's luxury yacht.
“We make the rules,” Mosley told Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell
, referring to the Paris-based FIA, which has governed the top flight since the official inception of the world championship all the way back in 1950. “We have done it for 60 years and we are going to continue to do it. It seems rather obvious that they (the existing teams) have been trying to make it difficult for the new teams.”