Mosley: FIA / FOTA war over?

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Max Mosley says that a deal may be very close and agreed to in principle regarding the FIA/FOTA war over the regulations of F1 in 2010. Apparently the teams have worked very hard with the FIA in meetings during the Monaco Race weekend and come up with concessions from all sides.

“I hope all 10 teams here sign up. I think lots of people have expressed views as to whether they will or they won’t,” said Whitmarsh. “Expressing those publicly I don’t think helps.

“It’s ridiculous if we between us, the governing body, commercial rights holder and 10 teams in Formula 1, cannot find a constructive way forward. At the end of the day there are no guarantees from any of these teams they are going to be here next year or in the years to come.

“But with all due respect to new entrants, it’s a big ask to jump into Formula 1, even with budget caps or whatever. The risk of a new entrant failing is always going to be greater than any of these teams failing or withdrawing. We have to make sure we keep them in.”

Mosley said he believed Ferrari would commit its entry ‘by Friday’, but felt that ‘one or two’ manufacturers may be ready to walk.

“I am confident Ferrari will still be here,” said Mosley. “[But] I think one or two of them may have to stop but it is nothing to do with these discussions.

“It is very difficult for a major manufacturer to continue in F1 when they are economising in their factories by shutting off every other lift, turning down the electricity, not cleaning the windows, not serving coffee at the meetings.

“A company that is in that sort of situation is unlikely to go on pouring massive money into F1. So there is a danger, and that’s what started the whole thing with the new teams.

“So we are going to lose one or two manufacturers and or independent teams, we can’t assume that things will continue. That’s what provoked the whole of this. If we hadn’t had the present crisis, we wouldn’t be having these discussions.”

“The main thing for the new teams is that they shouldn’t be behind technically, and there are ways of overcoming that problem,” he said.

Read the full story, expertly handled, at Autosport.

Rumor has it that the two teams Max is talking about not being here next year is BMW and Toyota. Apparently their threat may have been more ‘real’ than others but not necessarily due to the regulations? We will wait to see.

For now, the regulations will most likely remain as-is with some minor tweaks to clear up some trouble spots. How will the new teams be competitive with today’s regulations? That remains to be seen. How will the grid look if two teams leave? It has been suggested that Bernie will give the money, due the teams that leave, to any team that runs a third car and driver. Check out the BBC story on this issue.

But most notably, and perhaps the biggest issue of all, is the teams desire to re-start the F1 Commission which expired in 2007 after the Concorde Agreement was not renewed. It seems Max has conceded on the point although not happy about it. In the end, I would argue that Bernie has gotten a hold of Max and calmed him down. Max even stated the break-away threat was not real but we also know how he can marginalize a very real issue.

“I think they all realise that isn’t practical,” Mosley said. “We [he and Ecclestone] tried all this in 1980-81 and we had a lot more going for us than they do. You can’t really do that – all you do is destroy what you’ve got. So that’s a bargaining position.”

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