Saturday, 13 June 2009

Ferrari boss speaks up about the current crisis in Formula 1, while the European carmakers fully back FOTA

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, speaking to reporters in a high profile visit to signal the start of this year's Le Mans 24 hours endurance racing, said on Saturday that this ongoing crisis in F1 is very unfortunate for the sport and the fans as all the political bickering is creating F1 related headlines for all the wrong reasons. Di Montezemolo, who is also the chairman of FOTA, said that there are only two possible solutions to this crisis - either the FIA reforms itself and brings stable governance to the sport, with clear and transparent regulations, or the manufacturer teams lead their own breakaway championship for next year. This came after on Friday evening, the European Car Manufacturer's Association (ACEA) said in a press release that they fully support the stance taken by the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) and that they want to see a change in the governance of F1, so that it brings not only clear and stable regulations but also gets a higher portion of the revenues to the teams rather than the commercial rights holder. The ACEA said that it believes following FOTA's propositions will only ensure stability for the sport, and at the same time will also make sure that Formula 1 retains its integrity. However, if the FIA's stance do not change, the ACEA says that it will fully back FOTA in seeking alternative measures to Formula 1. It is worth noting here that all the manufacturer teams that currently operate in F1 - mainly Ferrari, Toyota, Mclaren-Mercedes, Renault and BMW - have their parent companies as members of the ACEA.

Meanwhile on Friday, FOTA's vice-chairman John Howett, team boss of Panasonic Toyota Racing, also said that if the FIA does not comply with the conditions set out by the teams, they will be looking to set up their own championship. At the same time, as I have said in my previous post already, FOTA also wrote to the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) asking them to intervene in this crisis and effectively by-passing Max Mosley, president of the FIA, to try and reach a solution to this crisis. Later on, in a press statement released on its website, FOTA confirmed its position regarding the conditional entries for next year for all eight teams (only excluding the temporarily suspended Williams and Force-India) and that none of them will be taking part until those conditions have been satisfied. FOTA also said that the unity among its members remains stronger than ever before, that they welcome the three new teams into Formula 1 and that they hope to have some constructive discussions with all parties involved to resolve the differences with the FIA. In that same statement, FOTA also said that all this internal politics in our sport is confusing and dismaying the millions of loyal F1 fans, and that it is distracting attention away from the on-track competition and racing, which is what F1 should be all about.

So the situation is pretty clear here, Max Mosley came up with some very controversial rules on his own without consulting any of the teams who make up the sport itself, and because of his ego and hard attitude has taken the sport literally to the edge of the cliff. Now starting from the teams to most of the stakeholders, everyone is challenging the FIA president to back down from this hard stance to ensure the greater good of the sport, which should be the main motive of the governing body anyway! The pressure is on for Mosley, but will he give in? Only time will tell, but as fans, all we want to see is pure Formula 1 racing with all the big teams and the big names racing in some of the best race-tracks around the world, making it the true pinnacle of world motorsport. So much for now and until next time, drive safely everyone!

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