Despite some surprise at an entry list for the 2010 Formula 1 World Championship that has courted yet further controversy, Christian Horner contends that the FIA's announcement was more-or-less as anticipated – as the Red Bull Racing team principal insisted he is still hopeful of finding 'peace in our time'.
Whilst all ten of the present incumbents have been granted slots on next season's starting grid, five of them remain 'conditional', contingent upon Max Mosley abandoning his contentious £40 million budget cap initiative and retaining the 2009 regulations into 2010 – something the FIA President has repeatedly underlined is not
Some of the fresh controversy hinges upon the fact that Red Bull – along with 'junior' outfit Scuderia Toro Rosso and multiple world champions Ferrari – has been accepted on an unconditional basis, when all three teams have stressed that their bids are every bit as conditional as those of fellow Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) members McLaren-Mercedes, Toyota, Renault, BMW-Sauber and Brawn GP. The governing body has 'invited them to lift those conditions following further discussions to be concluded not later than close of business on Friday, 19 June'.
Horner, however, told Crash.net Radio
that RBR's entry remains entirely conditional – meaning that the possibility of the energy drinks-backed squad following through with its threat and withdrawing from competition at the end of the current campaign similarly remains very real, if admittedly undesirable.
“I was involved in a lot of discussions all day yesterday with Max,” the Englishman explained, “and hopefully we can find peace in our time yet. I think following those constructive discussions with the FIA President, the final list was in-line with what was expected.
“We did enter as a conditional entry, and why we haven't been listed as such is probably better for the FIA to answer than me. It was registered in the same manner as the other FOTA conditional entries.
“Red Bull is fully committed to FOTA and to the principles of FOTA. It's not in anybody's interest to lose any teams, but I think the position of the FOTA teams is absolutely united in what it wants to achieve.
“I hope there can be some further constructive discussions and that we can find a solution by Friday (19 June). It's important that both parties use the [next] week to endeavour to find a solution.”
Arguably the greatest surprise on the list is the fact that newcomers Campos, USF1 and Manor were all granted entries, whereas seemingly better-placed candidates such as Prodrive/Aston Martin and Lola had their bids refused. Horner suggests the successful trio would not have been approved were they not worthy.
“I guess the FIA have done their due diligence and feel that those are the three most probable to design, build and put cars on the grid for next year,” the 35-year-old opined.