Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) President Luca di Montezemolo – the man who helped to broker the F1 peace deal with the governing body in Paris on Wednesday – has admitted that one of the key matters of importance in negotiations was that there should be 'no dictator' in the sport.
One of the main sources of dispute between the FIA and FOTA was what has come to be seen as FIA President Max Mosley's increasingly autocratic and at times seemingly arbitrary governance of the top flight. With the Englishman due to step down from the most powerful and influential post in international motor racing at the end of his fourth and current term in October, Ferrari President di Montezemolo admitted that he is hopeful that a similar situation will not be allowed to repeat itself in the future.
“The satisfaction is that all of our requests have been accepted,” the Italian told media after the crunch World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) reunion in the French capital, quoted on ex-ITV F1
commentator James Allen's blog. “To us three things were most important – that F1 stay F1 and not become F3; that there is no dictator, but that there is a choice of rules, agreed and not imposed; and that whoever has a team is consulted and has a voice. Now, finally, we have stability of the regulations until 2013.
“Mosley has announced that in October he will stand down, with an irrevocable decision, and that from now on he won't get involved in F1. Could Mosley change his mind? He can, yes, but we won't. What has been fundamental is the unity of the teams, of the manufacturers. [Bernie] Ecclestone said that he fed FOTA's cards to his dogs, Mosley said that he didn't know what FOTA was, [but now] it seems to me that both of them have something different to say.
“I wish to thank all our fans who have supported us, because the general public had had enough of all these changes. We hope that next year, having at last achieved stability in terms of the rules, we will see a winning Ferrari once again – and, finally, a real Formula 1.”
Whilst Mosley was adamant that there had been no losers in the compromise, the Scuderia
nonetheless claimed victory at the end of the damaging stand-off – one that averted a manufacturer-spearheaded 'breakaway' series at literally the eleventh hour, and saw the FIA's contentious budget cap proposal scrapped in favour of a more manageable and gradual means of cost-cutting to bring spending levels back to what they had been in the early-1990s.
'The FIA World Council accepted the proposals formulated by FOTA for the 2010 Formula 1 World Championship, a championship which will be held, as suggested by FOTA, in the spirit of sporting and technological competition, with clear and fixed rules and transparent governance, handled by the F1 Commission,' read a statement from the esteemed Maranello-based outfit.
'The objective is to avoid continual changes decided on by one person alone and to gradually reduce costs, to get back to levels of spending similar to those of the early '90s within the next two years. The FOTA teams constantly promoted these objectives in the interests of motorsport and all its protagonists, first and foremost the fans.'