The bitter civil war between the FIA and Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) has been resolved and F1 has been saved from splitting disastrously in two, Max Mosley has revealed – with the FIA President adding that as part of the trade-off for competitors' guarantees of commitment, he will not seek a fifth term in the most powerful and influential position in international motor racing after October.
Mosley, the sport's commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone, FOTA and Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and 120 key FIA members met for further eleventh hour discussions at the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in Paris today, in what was billed as a 'last chance saloon' opportunity to find sufficient common ground after all previous talks had broken down.
As a result of that, it seems that following weeks of protracted and highly damaging political wrangling and in-fighting, a cost-cutting compromise has finally been struck between the two warring factions that will see the 2010 regulations remain the same as those in 2009 and heads off the spectre of a manufacturer-spearheaded 'breakaway' series.
The two points of contention had been the £40 million budget cap that Mosley intended introducing into the top flight as of next year, and what was seen as the Englishman's increasingly autocratic and arbitrary manner of governance – even though the teams insisted that his resignation was not part of their mandate.
Following a long period of stalemate without any resolution being reached, FOTA announced on the eve of the British Grand Prix weekend late last week that it was pressing ahead with its menace of launching its own breakaway championship, free from the FIA's controversial and unpopular jurisdiction.
What's more, only days ago Mosley asserted that the last thing that it would be prudent for him to do amidst a crisis would be to leave his post, hinting that in such a prevailing climate of uncertainty it was more likely than not that he would seek to prolong his reign as president beyond the end of his current term [see separate story – click here
]. Now, it seems, neither of those two eventualities will materialise.
“There will be no split,” Mosley told an impromptu news conference following the WMSC reunion, quoted by the BBC
. “There will be one F1 championship in 2010, which is I think something we all hoped for, but the objective is to get back to early 1990s levels [of spending] within two years.
“We've reached agreement on a number of items; in particular, we've reached agreement on reduction of costs, [with] significant help from the FOTA teams. I will not be up for re-election now we have peace.”
The legal action that the 69-year-old had threatened against the FOTA rebels – composed of Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes, BMW-Sauber, Renault, Toyota, Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Toro Rosso and early-season world championship pace-setters Brawn GP – will also now be dropped. It is not clear whether the arranged FOTA meeting in Bologna on Thursday will still go ahead or not.