Friday, 19 June 2009

FOTA teams to launch breakaway championship

Before the the deadline on Friday the 19th of June which was imposed by the FIA for all the FOTA teams to sign up unconditionally for next year, the eight teams within the Formula One Teams' Association met on Thursday night at Renault's headquarters in Enstone. Following a lengthy four hour long meeting, FOTA announced that it is setting up a breakaway championship for next year. The eight members of FOTA - Scuderia Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes, Renault, BMW Sauber, Toyota, BrawnGP, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso - said that they had grown frustrated with the FIA's stance against the organisation and also the governing body's repeated attempts to divide the teams' association, and because of that the teams had no other choice but to set up their own championship.

The FOTA teams have declined to alter their conditional entries for the 2010 Formula 1 World Championship to ensure that the sport does not lose its fundamental values. FOTA also said that the new Championship will have transparent governance, clear and one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide. According to FOTA, all the major drivers, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in the new Championship. Earlier in the week many of the current Formula 1 drivers, most of whom are members of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA), have voiced their support for FOTA in this political fight between the teams' association and the sport's governing body.

So the race weekend for the final British Grand Prix to be hosted by the Silverstone circuit will be completely overshadowed by this latest twist in this long running political saga. It will be interesting to see if FOTA does actually go ahead with the new Championship because if they do, the FIA will have to bring in lots of third-grade teams to fill up the Formula 1 grid next year. Also all the eight FOTA teams have contracts with their drivers running beyond the current season. So it is safe to say that almost all of the top drivers will follow the FOTA teams out of Formula 1. All this only means that after 60 years of history, Formula 1 will keep going on at least for the short term, but the real pinnacle of world motorsport will clearly be the FOTA run Championship. The first free practice session for the British Grand Prix will be starting in just a few hours' time, so until then drive safely everyone!

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