ACEA weighs in on FIA/FOTA row!!

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The European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA) has released a bombshell statement of endorsement and raised the stakes significantly by demanding that the governance of F1 changes immediately.

Brussels, 12/06/2009 – Today, the members of the Board of the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association discussed the current situation prevailing in Formula One, and have concluded that the current governance system cannot continue.

ACEA has come to the conclusion that the FIA needs a modernised and transparent governance system and processes, including the revision of its constitution, to ensure the voice of its members, worldwide motorsport competitors and motorists are properly reflected.

The ACEA members support the activities and objectives of the Formula One Teams Association to establish stable governance, clear and transparent rules which are common to all competitors to achieve cost reductions including a proper attribution of revenues to the F1 teams, in order to deliver a sustainable attractive sport for the worldwide public.

Unless these objectives are met, the BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Toyota along with the other teams are determined to find an alternative way to practice this sport in a manner which provides clarity, certainty of rules and administration, and a fair allocation of revenues to the competing teams.

FOTA, GPDA, ACEA and the fans are all clamoring for a changing of the guard. They seek the ouster of Max and Bernie from the sport and a more equitable arrangement for a better future of the series. If that cannot be achieved via legal wranglings of Max or Bernie, they prefer to see another series in which these teams can thrive. It will be interesting to see how the FIA members hold up with public and commercial opinion is trenchant and against them. Will the small motor clubs hold fast to Max’s moves or will they see the FIA’s position as damaging to their own interests? Can Max and Bernie hold this together when public opinion has turned upon the two? Until now, the available light has not shown on the duo until Max’s escapade last year. It caused many to querstion the governance and integrity of the sports governance and while he retained his seat in a trumped up vote of confidence through political wrangling; it exposed Messrs. Mosley and Ecclestone to the scrutiny of all fans and entities involved in the sport. The troubled economy has demanded that the system change and that Bernie’s 50% cut of all revenue and Max’s fees need to be eliminated immediately. The red herring argument that the series needs a budget cap and cost-cutting has backfired on Max as the biggest expense to the sport is Max and Bernie themselves.

It takes a lot to run a sport of this magnitude and no one marginalizes that but does it require 50% of all revenue generated? Most doubt it. Two weeks ago, I would have doubted much would come from this entry list but the reaction to it and the people joining FOTA calling for the removal of Max and Bernie is getting large and the positions they hold may be untenable at critical mass. Will ADAC or AAA join FOTA in demanding a new structure based upon their customer base becoming disgruntled with the Max show?

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