The war of escalation pauses for a breath.

20 06 2009

Following FOTA’s announcement of a breakaway late on Thursday night, the ball was thrown back to Max Mosley and all eyes were on him once again. The FIA deadline for the FOTA teams to enter unconditionally was imminent, and during the first free practice at Silverstone, we heard the man himself say a statement would be released later.

Max had several options at this point, firstly he could have resigned, however this seems a virtual impossibility given the resilience of the man, and his determination to survive even in the face of the revelations made by a British tabloid last year.

A second option available to max, would have been to fight fire with fire, and replace the five FOTA teams whose entries were regarded as conditional with 5 new teams such as Prodrive, ho had been advised to remain on standby by the FIA. This would have been highly inflammatory and almost certainly guaranteed the creation of a breakaway as 5 major teams would have been locked out of F1 next year.

Instead Mosley decided to throw it all to the lawyers. Putting his money where his mouth is some might say; he has stood firm in his belief that Ferrari’s contract to race in F1 next year is binding, and that FOTA is an illegal cartel organisation.

This has done nothing to calm the situation down, and it seems to have everyone heading for the trenches as they roll in the Big Legal guns. As I have blogged before, some are excited about a new championship, including Nigel Mansell as we discovered during the BBC coverage of qualifying today. There are a lot of people in the F1 paddock however who are looking at the present situation with great alarm.

They are calling for Bernie to step forward and do something to solve the situation, as he is the only one who can. At 78 years old however, It seems that this solution will either have to throw up someone new who can play Bernie’s role in the future, or find a solution which will last in the long term, and not simply the duration of any agreement.

The issues in F1 are deep-set, the teams fell that since they pay for the sport they are the most important component of it. To put it simply they want money from Bernie, and Power from Max. F1 has existed for 30 years with a fragile balance being held together by strong personalities. The sport needs to find a long term solution, to exist as a stable sport series. Perhaps this war will bring the changes the sport needs.

We are headed for the courts now, and who knows how long this process will take. The FIA has a grid with 10 cars on it for next year, and FOTA has to prepare a series for next year, not knowing if it itself will be declared illegal, or if 3 of its teams will be able to be there. The legal route is far from ideal, it takes up the one thing no one can afford… Time. Perhaps it is a master stroke from Max and will force everyone into a compromise, or perhaps it will harden everyone’s resolve even more. The situation is far from over.




One response

20 06 2009

Aggh there’s only one thing that annoys me more than Max Moseley or Bernie Ecclestone…

teams like Ferrari thinking they are bigger than the sport. I dont care if the car has a Ferrari badge on it or not; as long as they are going ridiculously fast and racing it matters not.

Anyway, maybe it would be better to have a proper motorsports outfit in F1 instead of a road-car maker…

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