After what seems like an age, the remaining nine teams in the Formula One Teams Association (Williams were recently suspended) have submitted their entries to the FIA for the 2010 Formula One World Championship. The entries though are conditional. With Williams having already submitted, and along with USF1, Lola, Prodrive, Campos and Litespeed, the FIA will now have to decide who gets the final six places (three teams) on the grid next year.
Recently, the FIA increased the number of teams allowed to race to 13, meaning next season’s grid should comprise of 26 drivers. It is expected that USF1 will be given the nod, the American outfit having stated very early that they intend to join the circus and have already started their ball rolling.
Prodrive will likely get a slot as well, with Dave Richards having previously been granted entry only for the Briton to withdraw when his intended technical partnership with McLaren was shunned upon. Of course Williams will be allowed – that has to be a given – so the remaining place will likely be fought out between Lola (who embarrassed all with their last feeble attempt at Formula One in 1997), Litespeed (a British F3 team) and Campos (a Spanish F3 team).
However, just because the 10 current teams and a slew of others have sent in their entry forms, the current saga gripping the sport is far from over. Ferrari, McLaren, BMW, Toyota, Renault, Brawn, Force India, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso have applied conditions to their entries that they want met.
The FOTA teams want the new Concorde Agreement signed by June 12th, the very same day the official 2010 entrants list is expected to be published. The Concorde Agreement will outline the future of the sport and give apparent security to this and the measures involved. However, as always in Formula One, it isn’t as simple as passing a piece of paper around and everybody taking their turns at adding a signature. The new Concorde Agreement has long been in discussion as everybody wants their cake and eat it too.
Another condition of the current nine FOTA teams is that the 2010 regulations are to be based on the 2009 regulations, with only slight amendments, including the proposed €100m budget cap which will be reduced to €45m in 2011. FOTA are also asking that all the teams be granted entry, meaning that the FIA cannot kick a current squad out in favour of one of the newer entries.
FOTA confirms all its Members’ long-term commitment to be involved in the FIA Formula One World Championship and has unanimously agreed further and significant actions to substantially reduce the costs of competing in the Championship in the next three years, creating a mechanism that will preserve the technological competition and the sporting challenge and, at the same time, facilitate the entry in the F1 Championship for new Teams. These measures are in line with what has been already decided in 2009 within FOTA, achieving important savings on engines and gearboxes.
All FOTA teams have entered the 2010 championship on the basis that:
- 1) The Concorde Agreement is signed by all parties before 12th June 2009, after which all FOTA teams will commit to competing in Formula One until 2012. The renewal of the Concorde Agreement will provide security for the future of the sport by binding all parties in a formal relationship that will ensure stability via sound governance.
- 2) The basis of the 2010 regulations will be the current 2009 regulations, amended in accordance with proposals that FOTA has submitted to the FIA.
All FOTA teams’ entries for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship have been submitted today on the understanding that (a) all FOTA teams will be permitted to compete during the 2010 Formula One Season on an identical regulatory basis and (b) that they may only be accepted as a whole.
All FOTA teams now look forward with optimism to collaborating proactively and productively with the FIA, with a view to establishing a solid foundation on which the future of a healthy and successful Formula One can be built, providing lasting stability and sound governance. FOTA Press Release.
The window for entry into 2010 closes at midnight tonight, but there is an intentionally placed get out of jail free card in the rules that allows teams to submit entry for consideration if there is enough time for the team to be considered and if there are places available. The FIA are yet to respond to FOTA’s statement, but isn’t now likely to happen until tomorrow when the governing body has a clear idea of who has entered and who has not.