Sunday, 31 May 2009

F1 Budget Cap Latest - FOTA Teams Sign Up For 2010

As reported previously in this blog, Williams F1 have already signed up for the 2010 F1 Championship.

Now the remaing nine FOTA teams have submitted their entries for 2010, despite their previous threats to boycott Formula 1 if the proposed FIA budget cap was pushed through.

FOTA issued a statement on Friday afternoon (29th May) stating that all its members would commit to F1 through to 2012 – provided they receive guarantees about the sport’s future governance, and that the FIA accepts FOTA's modifications to the controversial budget cap proposal.

The announcement could signal a breakthrough in the long-running dispute between FOTA and the FIA.

FOTA have insisted that a new Concorde Agreement be signed by all parties by June 12th. This is the date when the FIA has indicated it will publish the list of confirmed participants in the 2010 season.

FOTA is seeking a formal contract to give greater stability over the rule-making process, having been unhappy with the way recent rule changes were pushed through the FIA World Council, bypassing teams and other stakeholders represented on the F1 Commission.

In return for such guarantees, FOTA members will pledge their allegiance to F1 for the next three years.

FOTA’s other major proviso concerns the technical regulations to be adopted for 2010, which it says must be based on this year's rules subject to the amendments it has proposed in a submission to the FIA.

These amendments are believed to include a phased introduction of the budget cap and measures to ensure prospective new teams can compete in the higher-spending initial year.

The FOTA statement said: “All FOTA teams have today submitted conditional entries for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship. 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 saving 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. 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 ten of the current teams on the F1 grid have now declared their intention to compete in next year's championship which will be expanded to thirteen teams (26 cars).

We understand that applications have been received from Prodrive (run by former BAR boss, Dave Richards), Campos Racing of Spain, the much vaunted Team US F1, Lola and Litespeed who currently run in F3 but have just teamed up with Mike Gascoigne for their F1 program.

It has been reported in the British press that Ecclestone has initimated that in view of the fact the 2010 grid is now oversubscribed some existing F1 teams may be replaced by new entrants to the sport.

All will be revealed on 12th June.

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