Friday 12th June will be an important day for the current saga that is gripping Formula One and the 2010 championship. As has been widely written about, the majority of current teams are unhappy with the governance of the sport an the direction the new rules are taking Formula One. The FOTA-8 (Force India are out as well now) have applied for entry to 2010, but with conditions, and yesterday the FIA president finally responded to the issues raised by FOTA’s conditioned entry. It was relatively blunt.
In a nutshell, Max Mosley has written to the FOTA-8 urging them to enter the 2010 World Championship without conditions so that they can then participate in the future creation of rules and regulations. However, Mosley also pointed out that it was too late to change next year’s rules, and that a new Concorde Agreement would not be ready in time for the end of the week, therefore it could not be signed by all parties, especially those who do not know if they are in the 2010 championship yet.
Under the International Sporting Code (Art. 66) we cannot now change the published 2010 rules unless we have the consent of all the competitors who have entered. However once we have a list of confirmed entries, we can make changes provided we have the necessary unanimous agreement.
You therefore have the option of participating in this process as a confirmed entrant, or not. In order to participate, you should now write to us confirming that your entry is unconditional.
It is of course up to you, but the simplest way to ensure that all entrants run under the same rules would be if everyone entered under the cost-cap rules as published and then all entrants cooperated to agree modifications to those rules which would make the proposition workable for all parties. Max Mosley.
Basically, Max is saying to the teams that once they have signed up to the current 2010 regulations without conditions, they can all sit down (once the new squads have been determined) and thrash out any changes, assuming all agree to them. Any decision made to change the rules has to be unanimously agreed, just as it always has been.
However, the risk for FOTA is that once they’ve signed up the 2010 championship in an unconditioned and legal manner, they are bound by contract to race – they simply have to or face legal action, which could arguably end up costing them more than if they had competed.
We plan to arrange a meeting of all the confirmed 2010 teams immediately after 12 June in order to discuss the cost saving measures that have been proposed by the 2009 FOTA teams.
We have already canvassed the views of some of the likely new entrants regarding the proposed measures and the feedback is broadly positive so a solution should be relatively simple to achieve.
To this end, if you do intend to enter, it would be helpful if you would let us have drafts of the precise rules you wish adopted, as much of the Enclosure 3 submitted by FOTA on behalf of the 2009 teams is currently in the form of minutes and statements of intent rather than the clear rules which you [and we] seek.
We look forward to a positive response. It would be helpful to have this no later than close of business on Tuesday 9 June. Max Mosley.
This part of Mosley’s letter is quite clever. The FIA president states that he plans to have a meeting once the teams for next year have been confirmed to discuss the proposals made by FOTA in recent months. When the FIA stated that the budget cap would be in force in 2010 and set at the £40m limit, the FOTA teams were pretty annoyed as they felt that their proposals had been ignored. In fact, Ferrari stated that had the FIA looked at the combined efforts of the current teams, they would realise that FOTA’s proposals would mean more money being saved. Of course, that is the view of FOTA though – so far I have not seen any hard numbers, and unlikely will.
Max then adds some pressure to the FOTA-8 by asking for a response before the end of the business day on Tuesday. This gave FOTA 48 hours to prepare a response while they were travelling back to the UK/Italy/Switzerland from the Turkish Grand Prix. It is interesting that Mosley should wait so long before replying to FOTA, as it now means the teams are under increased pressure.
This is a game, most definitely. Friday is going to be one very interesting day…
All quotes from Autosport.