F1 »

FOTA in talks withMotoGP organiser Dorna to run breakaway

The spectre of a 'breakaway' series run by dissenting rebel teams has intensified with the understanding that the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) is in discussions with MotoGP commercial rights-holder Dorna Sports SL should the ongoing stand-off with Max Mosley over the controversial £40 million budget cap the FIA President intends introducing into the top flight next year not reach a satisfactory resolution.

As the enduring stalemate between the sport's competitors and its governing body shows no signs of easing – with neither side seemingly willing to make any further concessions or risk losing face – FOTA vice-chairman John Howett has warned that whilst a breakaway championship is 'a worst-case scenario', it remains a very real one.

Over the weekend of the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul at the weekend, the drivers also pledged their support to the FOTA cause, with Jarno Trulli arguing that 'something should budge, must move, otherwise there will inevitably be a split', adding that 'Mosley must understand there are some things that cannot happen' and that 'with these rules we are completely out'.

Former team-mate and double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso went even further, claiming that 'if the manufacturers cannot sign up for F1 and they organise a parallel championship, that would be the most interesting [thing] – I prefer to race in any other category before the new F1' [see separate story – click here].

Whilst Mosley has repeatedly rubbished the fear of a 'breakaway' threat – contending that such a situation is even less likely now than was the ultimately abortive 2005 menace – as the Englishman continues to stand firm on the implementation of his radical and contentious cost-cutting initiative, it appears FOTA are increasingly taking matters into their own hands.

According to Spanish sports daily newspaper AS, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has been earmarked as the man they are chasing to run the new series. The Spaniard has played a key role in making MotoGP the outstanding worldwide success it is today, but he has also been much-criticised of late for pushing through some unpopular new rules that have been accused of taking the sport in the wrong direction in killing off overtaking and detracting from the on-track action – particularly the regulation change that increased the influence of electronics and reduced capacity from 990cc to 800cc in 2007.

Since then, no MotoGP race has been won by a last-lap pass – almost unheard of in motorcycling circles. What's more, few big-money sponsors have been attracted to MotoGP compared to F1, with the entrants being heavily bankrolled by manufacturers and Dorna itself.

It is reported that Ezpeleta has already held talks with FOTA and is interested in the proposal. Like F1 still is, Dorna used to be owned by CVC Capital Partners, until the European Commission ordered the private equity firm to sell its 71 per cent stake to Dorna Sports Management for £400 million in 2006, with EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes explaining at the time: “When the two most popular motorsport events in the EU – Formula 1 and MotoGP – come in the hands of one owner, there is a risk of price increases for the TV rights to these events and a reduction in consumer choice. I am satisfied that the commitments given by CVC will eliminate this risk.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Carmelo Espeleta, Dorna, Grand Prix World Championship,  Round 1, Losail, Qatar, 10 March 2007
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The Safety car and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
25.06.2017 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13 race winner

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.


June 09, 2009 2:19 AM
Last Edited 2939 days ago

A break away series by the FOTA will eventually fail for the same reasons F1 isn't currently working. Manufactures will come and go. Toyota and BMW will not always be around - they are looking for a reason to shut it down now. How many people are willing to start up a team, spend hundreds of millions of dollars only to get beaten to a pulp by Ferrari, McLaren, etc? They will not be able to sustain the series for long with entrants pulling out and/or no new entrants. They will be crawling back to the FIA.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

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