Former world champions Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher have revealed their distaste for the prevailing mood of 'politics and egos' that is tearing F1 apart, with the former contending that 'this is nothing to do with sport anymore – it's about who is going to win and who is going to lose'.
F1 currently teeters dangerously on the precipice, with the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) pressing ahead with its plans to launch a separate 'breakaway' series free from the jurisdiction of the FIA, and the governing body vowing to prevent them from doing so by pursuing the matter through the courts.
The dispute began when FIA President Max Mosley announced that he was to introduce a £40 million budget cap into the top flight as of next year – a move the competitors insisted would be simply unworkable in such a short timeframe – and it has since degenerated into a situation where the teams are baying for the Englishman's blood, uneasy at the increasingly autocratic and arbitrary manner in which they believe he is yielding his power. 2007 title-winner Raikkonen insists that enough is now enough.
“Of course it's sad to see,” the Finn – who has underlined that he will follow Ferrari out of F1 if the Scuderia
leaves – is quoted as having said by racer.com
. “This is nothing to do with sport anymore; it's more [about] politics and egos fighting against each other.
“It's not really about Formula 1 anymore. It's about who is going to win and who is going to lose. It's sad but that's how it is, and we'll just see what happens. I don't know what will happen or where we are going to race, but let's finish this year then we will know more about next year.”
Those sentiments were largely echoed by Raikkonen's predecessor at the Maranello-based outfit, record-breaking seven-time F1 World Champion Schumacher, who has admitted that he was tiring of the destructive political wrangling and in-fighting even when he was competing. Describing the scenario as highly damaging for the sport, the German mused that a breakaway series is far from an impossibility – and he pinned the blame for that eventuality firmly at the door of the FIA.
“I find it extremely unfortunate that in Formula 1 recently there is so much talk about politics and so little about sport,” the 91-time grand prix-winner wrote on his personal website. “I really hope these political games will soon be ended – they were already getting on my nerves during my career. In the end doesn't it all come down to one simple fact? Motorsport is a great sport, Formula 1 has always been the best and it has to remain the pinnacle.
“Formula 1 has always been the platform for the best drivers and the best teams – this is what is admired all over the world; this is what everybody wants to see – but if this is constantly put into question due to permanent uncertainty of rules it is maybe better to really defend that value, leave and establish it somewhere else in a reasonable way.
“It is simply not understandable that all the teams share a view on how to approach the reforms, and the governing body still wants to implement something else. Of course, this seems unimaginable in the first moment, but this time all the big teams are sticking together.
“This makes a new championship much more realistic – it is starting to be a real alternative to me. As a motorsport fan I want to watch the best show, which is where the best drivers and the best teams compete with each other.”