Would it be possible for the greatest teams, drivers and circuits in F1, to successfully break away from the series formally known as the FIA World Championship in order to construct an entirely new series, without the F1 name, but free from the tyranny of those who seem to do be doing their utmost to derail the pinnacle of motorsport? It certainly seems so!By Kyle Kock
I may not be the most loyal F1 follower, but from an outsider’s point of view, the current situation regarding the defiance of certain teams with regard to FIA head Max Mosley’s controversial proposed budget caps for Formula One, amongst other frustrations, also the work of the other high-ranking trouble-maker – one Bernie Ecclestone (President and CEO of Formula One Management) has saved the sport for all interested parties.
So the even more controversial decision last night by the members of the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) to break away from F1 as we know it to form what many members of the press are calling a “rebel series”, has been a long time coming in my humble opinion. So-called experts have suggested that the big manufacturers are too concerned with passenger car sales volumes to set-up a break-away series, but they were wrong.
Last night’s release reads as follows …
“The wishes of the majority of the teams are ignored. Furthermore, tens of millions of dollars have been withheld from many teams by the commercial rights holder, going back as far as 2006. Despite this and the uncompromising environment, FOTA has genuinely sought compromise.”
It has become clear however, that the teams cannot continue to compromise on the fundamental values of the sport and have declined to alter their original conditional entries to the 2010 world championship.
These teams therefore have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new Championship which reflects the values of its participants and partners. This series will have transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide, partners and other important stakeholders.”
The major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series.”
With the world in financial turmoil, I’m sure even the most ardent supporters would approve of the sport sparing a few million Euros, but the budget cuts proposed by Mosley haven’t found favour with BMW, Brawn, Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, Toyota, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso, who lodged conditional entries for the 2010 season, pending the outcome of further negotiations – but Mosley just wouldn’t budge.
Also, I think that for many pundits, the decision by Bernie Ecclestone to take the British Grand Prix away from the legendary Silverstone circuit in favour of Donington, which has to be redeveloped at a huge amount despite Mosley’s urgency to introduce these budget cuts, was the last straw for FOTA, and many fans for that matter I suspect.
But the “F1 Supremo” won’t take the breakaway lying down, and has apparently vowed to take legal action against the teams who want to defect and steal away the promoters and television broadcasters with which he does business.
It’s d-day for the teams who signed provisional entries (McLaren, BMW, Renault, Toyota and Brawn) for the 2010 Formula One season, but it looks like they’re intent on starting a new series, leaving the FIA to deal with the two Red Bull teams and Ferrari, who had previously committed to next year’s championship, but have now changed their minds.
The FIA will try to keep F1’s head above water with the list of confirmed entries made up of Force India, expelled member of FOTA, the iconic Williams team, and three new teams formed from lesser series’ who jumped at the opportunity to compete in F1.
Even though FOTA hasn’t finalised anything, if they go through with their plan, and the new series starts as early as next year, I’ve no doubt that those who remain true to the spirit of racing would rather much follow the legends of the F1 world into the unknown than stick with the frustrating current formula known as F1.
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