A pivotal meeting was held to day between the FIA and FOTA, lead by Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali, regarding the decision of the FIA to institute a two-tier regulatory system containing a budget cap for 2010. Ferrari, Toyota and Renault have all said they would not enter the F1 series next year with these regulations in place. FIA President Max Mosley told reporters that there was no agreement reached and that the FIA is holding firm to the published 2010 regulations.
“It was quite a friendly meeting, but in the end all that happened was that the teams have gone off to see if they can come up with something better than the cost cap,” Mosley told reporters.
“We explained we cannot put back the entry date, as this has all been published, and we cannot disadvantage the potential new teams who will come in. But we are prepared to listen to whatever they have to say.
“In the meantime, the regulations are as published. We have explained that we want everyone to race under the same regulations. We have explained that we would like all of the teams to come in under the cost cap and that is what they have gone off to consider.
“We have said that we cannot see why anyone wouldn’t want to operate under the cost cap, and it would mean a gradual relaxation of the technical regulations – which all the engineers would want. We said in the end the choice was between intellectual freedom and financial constraint, or intellectual constraint and financial freedom – which is what they have had up until now.
“We have pointed out, and it is something the engineers have said, that current F1 consists of endless refinement at enormous expense and we want to move away from that and have invention and creativity, but we can only do that if we restrict the cost – because if we have unrestricted cost nobody would be able to afford it.
“I think some of the teams agree with that idea, and some don’t, and they have gone away to discuss it.”
Ferrari have taken additional steps to prevent the FIA from applying the 2010 regulations by filing for legal action in the French legal system to seek an injunction:
“During the meeting it became apparent that Ferrari has made an application to the French courts, and I don’t know the details, but it is to apply for an injunction to stop us doing what we want to do,” Mosley said. “So that is where the situation rests as far as Ferrari is concerned.”
“Then they asked about the Concorde Agreement, and we said that we would be prepared if there was agreement on all of the other issues to resign the 1998 Concorde Agreement, and extend it for another five years,” explained Mosley.
“But there was not agreement between them and Bernie [Ecclestone] on the commercial side, which is unsurprising because they have been talking about it for two and a half years and still not reached agreement.”
So it looks as if the legal battle has just begun and the battle for control of F1 may be in its dawning moments.