Breaking away without actually leaving?

18 06 2009

The prospect of a FOTA breakaway series looms large in the F1 world today, as Max’s deadline for the teams to remove their conditions hits tomorrow. Setting up a rival series is no easy task, but as I blogged about before, it is possible. However if the breakaway was to happen there are ways for the new championship to take more than the teams with them.

Firstly, once the teams announce a breakaway, it is logical to expect that many members of the FIA will be less than happy about the decimation of their premiere racing series. The FIA presidential elections take place in October of this year, where Max Mosely is expected to stand for a record 5th term, and even if he doesn’t it is expected his nominated successor would receive his full backing.

If anger over the F1 situation is strong enough to dislodge Max (although the FIA’s remit is so large this is far from assured); It would likely bring to power a president with a very different viewpoint. If the new regime could reach out to FOTA there is a possibility something could be done to bring the two series together.

Secondly as I mentioned in my previous post, that FOTA will likely need to find an investor to get the series going. One man fits the profile of having vast wealth, and involvement in motor racing perfectly, Bernie Ecclestone. If the teams can persuade him that there is money to be made, and get him to join the breakaway, with CVC or not, then they will have secured not just funding for the series, but perhaps the worlds top expert on running a racing series.

This option may open up a legal can of worms with CVC and its creditors, to avoid this, as well as their own lawsuits teams could use Bernie as a sort of crutch. Running a FOTA championship alongside the current F1 championship much in the same way GP2 operates. Although this will not do wonders for the prestige of the new sport, running Grand Prix’s on a Saturday afternoon, with existing F1 broadcasters taking the feed would give the series a good audience almost immediately, as well as solve the problem of organising a series at short notice. This would come with its own myriad of logistical issues with motorhomes not being particularly adept at fitting in support paddocks, so it would have to be a short term option at best.

F course all of this is dependent on a breakaway occurring this weekend, There is still a good chance that common sense could break out, although with the bizarre inclusion of Manor and Campos on the entry list last year, at the expense of teams who appeared to be more prepared, perhaps there is too much going on for sanity to be regained. I would like to end by saying that we will all find out tomorrow, but the way negotiations have progressed, we could well see another deadline.

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