Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Last minute reconciliation talks between the FIA, FOM and FOTA bring an end to the dispute in Formula One

In an extraordinary meeting at the FIA headquarters in Paris, FIA president Max Mosley, FOM chief executive Bernie Ecclestone and Ferrari president and FOTA chairman Luca di Montezemolo finally came to a peace agreement to end the dispute that has been threatening to jeopardise the future of Formula 1 in recent days. This meeting took place on Wednesday morning just before a scheduled meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC).

The main points that were agreed upon at the meeting was that all the FOTA teams will commit to the sport at least until 2012; there will be only one Formula One World Championship in 2010 fully governed and authorised by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and no breakaway championship organised by the manufacturers; a new Concorde agreement will be signed by the FIA, FOM and all participating teams that would guarantee clear and stable regulations; the regulations for the next three years will be based on the 2009 regulations only slightly modified to account for cost reductions; there will not be any budget caps but teams will need to bring their costs down to the early 1990's levels by 2011 and that they will be required to help the new entrants next season with engines and chassis development. The FIA president Max Mosley also announced that now the crisis seems to be over, he will not be running for re-election when his term ends in October. Mosley's days in charge of world motorsport's governing body are effectively over because between now and October, he will remain as an honorary president of the FIA and a member of the FIA Senate. His day to day activities will instead be handled by Michel Boeri, president of the FIA Senate and the Monaco automobile club. There are strong rumours going around that the former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt may be a likely candidate to permamently replace Max Mosley.

So the way I see this is the FOTA won this political war, and that for the good of the sport. Now we have the stable regulations that FOTA has always wanted, no fixed budget cap but a systematic implementation of FOTA's proposals to eventually reduce the costs of Formula 1 teams and also a clear change in the dictatorship style of governance that Mosley has been imposing on Formula 1 in recent years. Now we are hoping to see the return of the F1 commission, so that any change in regulation is brought through only after consultation and agreement with all of the teams involved. In simple words, almost all of FOTA's demands have been met and Mosley had to back down on almost all of his fronts. How was that even possible? It is all probably down to some serious pressure on Max Mosley from commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone and CVC Capital Partners. Because they run all the commercial sides of Formula 1, and earn a lot of money in the process, Ecclestone and CVC had a lot to lose if FOTA had gone through with their breakaway plans. For us fans though, it is very good news that Formula 1 will remain as we know it, the pinnacle of world motorsport. On that note it is adios from me but until next time, drive safely!

No comments:

Post a Comment