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The FIA has released the 2010 entry list of approved participating teams for the 2010 season…except this list has an asterisk. It’s about all that could be done really. They have to earmark a spot for the FOTA teams if they feel they can work out the details of the rift between the FIA and FOTA. To exclude them would be politically damaging and may have launched a serious destruction of the sport. It would have sent a very bad, wrong message.

Ultimately, however, the FIA has used this event to attempt to divide the teams even further by handing Ferrari and Red Bull, along with sister team STR, a full entry as they feel that all three teams are legally obligated to participate. Ferrari, due to their signing the Concorde Agreement that expires in 2012, and Red Bull for reasons not explained but one could assume they had some commitment to the FIA for which they feel they can be held to. This has presented a case of peeling off two more teams from the FOTA membership leaving BMW, Renault, McLaren, Toyota and Brawn GP as entrants wwith an asterisk. Yeas, the asterisk has been attached:

Team Constructor
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari
Scuderia Toro Rosso STR TBA
Red Bull Racing Red Bull Racing TTBA
At&T Williams Williams Toyota
Force India F1 Team Force India Mercedes
Campos Grand Prix Campos Cosworth
Manor Grand Prix Manor Cosworth
Team US F1 Team US F1 Cosworth
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes* McLaren Mercedes
BMW Sauber F1 Team* BMW Sauber
Renault F1 Team* Renault
Panasonic Toyota Racing* Toyota
Brawn GP Formula One Team* Brawn TBA

* These five teams have submitted conditional entries.The FIA has invited them to lift those conditions following further discussions to be concluded not later than close of business on Friday 19 June.

The maximum number of cars permitted to enter the 2010 Championship has been increased to 26, two being entered by each competitor. Pending completion of the discussions referred to above, further due diligence is currently taking place on other potential entries.

So the Asterisk teams have until the 19th to drop the “conditional” status of their entries. Keep in mind that Ferrari, Red Bull and STR all filed with a “conditional” proviso but the FIA has ignored that fact as they feel they have them legally bound to the series. This will not doubt create a legal battle this summer for Ferrari and the FIA. One would assume that Red Bull would also fight it out of loyalty to FOTA and Ferrari but one has to consider the amount of money that will be spent battling it and this may force Red Bull’s hand. Ferrari said this regarding the FIA’s placing them as an unconditional entrant:

“Ferrari submitted on 29 May 2009 an entry to the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship which is subject to certain conditions,” said the statement. “As of today, these conditions have not been met.

“Notwithstanding this and despite Ferrari’s previous written notice to the FIA not to do so, the FIA has included Ferrari as an unconditional participant in next year’s Formula One World Championship.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, Ferrari reaffirms that it shall not take part in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship under the regulations adopted by the FIA in violation of Ferrari’s rights under a written agreement with the FIA.”

Much has been made of what, exactly, are those conditions and I think John Howett says it best when he said:

“What we want primarily is a sensible basis of governance, so that the regulations are not changed willy nilly, that there in involvement of the teams in a proper process adopted, and that process is not deviated from,” Howett told Radio 5 Live on Friday.

“And secondly we do feel that there is a risk of involving financial forensic control in the sporting regulations and deciding a championship.”

So we wait and see what FOTA does and how they respond. Will the FIA’s move of entering Red Bull and Ferrari unconditionally bifurcate FOTA? Will they be forced to seek separate paths due to the litigation that surely will ensue? Ferrari and red Bull have now been placed on a separate path from the unified FOTA path. They now have to start proving they are not bound to the FIA for an unconditional entrance while the rest of FOTA members are trying to explain why they should be in the series with conditional applications. It gets confusing but in the end, another political cock up from Mosley and Ecclestone that is only attempting to separate the FOTA members and ultimately will tarnish the sport more than they already have.


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