F1 »

F1 saved just a day before FOTA had planned definitive break

Prior to the eleventh-hour peace deal that saved F1 from splitting irrevocably in two, the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) was just a day away from making its schism with the FIA permanent and formally launching its 'breakaway' series, it has been revealed – as the international media has cast doubt upon Max Mosley's insistence that he was not forced out of his position.

The World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) meeting in Paris on Wednesday was due to be followed by a FOTA reunion in Bologna today (Thursday), at which the eight 'rebel' competitors had been expected to announce that the point of no return had been reached, and that in the absence of a satisfactory resolution to the budget cap and governance stand-off, the rival manufacturer-spearheaded breakaway championship was going full steam ahead.

Following the compromise struck between Mosley, F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone – who the former praised for having 'contributed a lot to the agreement' – and FOTA and Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, however, that threat was successfully staved off. Ecclestone confessed afterwards that the whole dispute had been 'silly'.

“In fairness to Max, he wanted to leave last year and I asked him not to go until things were sorted out,” the Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive told British newspaper the Daily Mirror. “People forget he achieved a lot in his time.

“They forget the positive and concentrate on the negative. We've been friends for 40 years. He understood the sport and we knew how to do things together.”

Former triple F1 World Champion Niki Lauda contended that there had been 'no winners or losers, just a good compromise', whilst Spanish motoring federation President Carlos Gracia told the Diario AS newspaper: “Both sides had to come to an understanding. It was not so complicated [that] there was no option – it had to be solved.”

Whilst it is hoped that the FIA/FOTA agreement will bring a measure of much-needed stability back into the sport, however, the international press has speculated that Mosley's departure was not – as he made out – of his own volition [see separate story – click here].

The Times newspaper argued that the 69-year-old Englishman had been 'sacrificed' and 'forced out', with The Guardian suggesting his departure was part of a deal 'to appease [the] dissident teams'. The Independent, meanwhile, characterised him as 'Mosley the martyr', with El Mundo claiming that F1 had been 'saved by Mosley's surrender'.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Start, Monaco F1 Grand Prix, 21st-24th, May 2009
Williams Martini Racing FW40
Antonio Giovinazzi - Sauber F1 Team
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Fernando Alonso - McLaren MCL32

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.

Dale - Unregistered

June 25, 2009 12:33 PM

Unfortunately FOTA used the power of the manufacturers & the fans to work themselves into a VERY strong position ... & then betrayed us by caving in & looking after their own interests. The fans wont see any benefit whatsoever from the FIA/FOTA agreement. GP's will still be held at the highest bidding circuits, we will still see our favourite circuits opt out because they lose money, we will still be asked to pay ridiculous prices, the show wont improve significantly at all. Perhaps we should start a Formula One Fans Association? (www.fansassociation.org) We can boycott races, manufacturers brands, sponsors products, etc ... until we too are heard & have our say?

simrae - Unregistered

June 25, 2009 12:28 PM

I can't help but think that they will regret their decision in the coming months - the momentum that FOTA had has been lost, and the opportunity for a split may not occur again...

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

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