Moments before the verdict was announced by the French court, Ferrari released this statement on their web site:
“They could not believe their eyes, the men and women working at Ferrari, when they read the papers this morning and found the names of the teams declaring their intention to race in formula one next year.
“Looking at the list, leaked yesterday from Paris, you cannot find a famous name, one of whom has to spend 400 euros per person for a place in the grandstand at a GP [plus the expenses for the journey and the stay].
“Wirth Research, Lola, USF1, Epsilon Euskadi, RML, Formtech, Campos, iSport: these are the names of the teams due to compete in the two-tier formula one wanted by [Max] Mosley. Can a world championship with teams like them â€“ with due respect â€“ have the same value as today’s formula one, where Ferrari, the big car manufacturers and teams, who created the history of this sport, compete? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to call it Formula GP3?”
There is an element of truth in that these teams are tenuous at best as far as resources go and Max seems to be hedging F1’s future on getting these new teams in to F1. Sort of jumping over dollars to pick up dimes in my opinion. What exactly is the pressing need for new, 40 million pound teams for? Who stands to gain from possibly three teams entering F1 with their 40 million pounds? Follow the money, there the truth lies.
At some level, Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW, Toyota and Renault have become stiff competition for each other and the cost of F1 kept out the riff raff (footwork Honda anyone?). The 70’s and 80’s were replete with one-off teams trying to get in to the sport and if stability is what you are seeking in F1, these small teams with tenuous sponsorships and budgets are not the answer. It is a fine line to draw in the sand between the privateer and the manufacturer but as a regulatory body, I would expect the FIA to manage this situation better. What we get is bravado, politics and verbal assaults by Mosley. Today he said this of Ferrari:
“No competitor should place their interests above those of the sport in which they compete,” remarked Mosley. “The FIA, the teams and our commercial partners will now continue to work to ensure the wellbeing of formula one into 2010 and beyond.”
The hypocrisy is literally dripping off of that statement. Has anyone in the history of F1 placed their own interests above the sport than Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone? I should think not.