Friday, 5 June 2009

Mosley Tells FOTA Teams to Form Their Own Championship

The Formula 1 2010 budget cap row continues to rumble on before this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix.

As reported previously in this blog nine of the ten FOTA member teams submitted conditional applications for the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship by the 29th May deadline.

Williams broke ranks from the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) and submitted a full entry to the Championship in line with their commercial and contractural obligations. They were later suspended from membership of FOTA.

Subsequently, Force India have also submitted a full entry and face suspension, like Williams, from FOTA.

Following the announcement of the proposed budget cap from 2010 onwards, many new entrants have been persuaded to submit entry applications and as the total number of teams that can enter is limited to thirteen (26 cars), places on the grid are not guaranteed for all of the current established F1 participants.

Perhaps emboldened by the level of new applicants to the sport, Mosley has effectively told the eight FOTA teams lead by Ferrari that have submitted only conditional entries for 2010 to put up or shut up.

Mosley has stated that if they are not happy with the rules set by the FIA they should consider running their own Championship and then they are free to do what they like.

This is certainly a high stakes game for all concerned.

Should the likes of Ferrari and McLaren do as is suggested by Mosley and go their own way Ecclestone will find himself in hot water with the television networks and advertisers.

On the other hand, some of the FOTA teams could find themselves in court for breach of contract. It is said that Ferrari could be sued for as much as £ 500 million.

The FOTA teams would also have enormous expenditure to get a breakaway series up and running.

Ecclestone has exclusivity arrangements with all the circuits currently used by F1 and numerous major television deals. The FOTA teams would have to negotiate venues and television coverage from scratch.

Some of the teams (Toyota ? Renault ?) may use these shenanigans as a convenient excuse to bow out completely in view of the losses they are currently incurring in their production car business.

Hopefully everyone will see sense at some point before too much irreversible damage is done.

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