To the FIA: STOP IT! Just stop it!

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Max BernieI was going to write an overall recap of the FIA/FOTA nonsense and was growing so weary of the issue that I was having a hard time keeping my thoughts clear. No, I wasn’t lazy I just couldn’t really take all of the frustration I have and temper it in to a story worth reading.

But I soldier on and attempt to point out yet another dodgy move by the FIA. I know Max Mosley is behind it but I think the FIA could use all of the bad publicity they can get now so this is leveraged at teh FIA and all of its members who support its actions. That means you AAA, ADAC and others who belong to the FIA. The FIA is tearing my sport apart and I have had it.

Suffice to say that something is a miss and I am damn mad about it. If you recall that in June the FIA released a list of the teams officially entered in the 2010 F1 championship. This included Ferrari and Red Bull (FOTA members who filed conditional applications). Remember the issue that saw Ferrari take the FIA to a French court as they felt they had veto rights, per the Concorde Agreement they signed to break up GPWC in 2005. After failing to win in court, Ferrari declared that they were not legally bound by the 2005 Concorde Agreement as the FIA had violated their obligation to allow Ferrari their rightful veto position during regulation development.

Follow me here. The FIA, on June 12th 2009, released this list:

“Following the completion of the applications process for teams to compete in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, the following teams have been confirmed.

SCUDERIA FERRARI MARLBORO
SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO
RED BULL RACING
AT&T WILLIAMS
FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM
CAMPOS GRAND PRIX
MANOR GRAND PRIX
TEAM US F1
VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES*
BMW SAUBER F1 TEAM*
RENAULT F1 TEAM*
PANASONIC TOYOTA RACING*
BRAWN GP FORMULA ONE TEAM*

*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.”

Twelve days later we were met with this release from the FIA that stated an agreement had been reached:

The World Motor Sport Council met in Paris on 24 June 2009, the following decisions were taken:

FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

All currently competing teams have committed to the FIA Formula One World Championship.

There will be no alternative series or championship and the rules for 2010 onwards will be the 2009 regulations as well as further regulations agreed prior to 29 April 2009.

As part of this agreement, the teams will, within two years, reduce the costs of competing in the championship to the level of the early 1990s. The manufacturer teams have agreed to assist the new entries for 2010 by providing technical assistance.

The manufacturer teams have further agreed to the permanent and continuing role of the FIA as the sport’s governing body. They have also committed to the commercial arrangements for the FIA Formula One World Championship until 2012 and have agreed to renegotiate and extend this contract before the end of that period.

All teams will adhere to an upgraded version of the governance provisions of the 1998 Concorde Agreement.

The following teams have been accepted for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.

SCUDERIA FERRARI MARLBORO
VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES
BMW SAUBER F1 TEAM
RENAULT F1 TEAM
PANASONIC TOYOTA RACING
SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO
RED BULL RACING
AT&T WILLIAMS
FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM
BRAWN GP FORMULA ONE TEAM
CAMPOS META TEAM
MANOR GRAND PRIX
TEAM US F1

This week we posted a story about the FIA/FOTA meeting on in which the FOTA members walked out. It was centered on this story we ran about a warning letter to the teams from the FIA in which they restated Article 66 of the International Sporting Code.

After reading the above statements from the FIA pertaining to the teams officially entered in the 2010 season, does anyone see anything that would contribute to or corroborate the fact that the FIA yesterday announced that the teams are, in fact, not entered and have no voting rights? Let me highlight that statement in FOTA’s press release:

“Representatives of all FOTA teams attended a meeting of the Sporting Working Group at the Nürburgring today.

During the course of this meeting, the team managers were informed by Mr Charlie Whiting of the FIA that, contrary to previous agreements, the eight FOTA teams are not currently entered into the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship and have no voting rights in relation to the technical and sporting regulations thereof.

It will be remembered that all eight active FOTA members were included on the “accepted” entry list as endorsed by the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) and communicated by FIA press statement on June 24.

In light of these claims, the FOTA representatives requested a postponement of today’s meetings. This was rejected on the grounds that no new Concorde Agreement would be permitted before a unanimous approval of the 2010 regulations was achieved.

However, it is clear to the FOTA teams that the basis of the 2010 technical and sporting regulations was already established in Paris.

As endorsed by the WMSC and clearly stated in the FIA press statement of 24 June “the rules for 2010 onwards will be the 2009 regulations as well as further regulations agreed prior to 29 April 2009”. At no point in the Paris discussions was any requirement for unanimous agreement on regulations change expressed. To subsequently go against the will of the WMSC and the detail of the Paris agreement puts the future of Formula 1 in jeopardy.

As a result of these statements, the FOTA representatives at the subsequent Technical Working Group were not able to exercise their rights and therefore had no option other than to terminate their participation.

The FOTA members undertook the Paris agreement and the subsequent discussions in good faith and with a desire to engage with all new and existing teams on the future of Formula One.”

Is there no end to Ecclestone and Mosley’s madness? I have received some insider rumors* that suggest the member clubs of the FIA such as the RAC, AA, ATC UAE, and the AAA are calling for Mosley’s commitment to step down. If he does not commit to stepping down, they will call for his resignation at the next General Assembly meeting. I have also heard that the shareholders have asked for Bernie to resign his position after his Hitler comments.

*Now this is rumor folks and you know how that can be. I would not place a significant amount of weight on this until we hear from a motor club member of the FIA or CVC shareholder.

Having said that, I have received it from a reputable source. If it does not come to pass, I suggest that the politics of staging such a demand may have been thwarted or decided against. FOTA have a long road to travel for independence but if there were ever a time for it, now would be that time. I sent a letter demanding that the AAA remove themselves from the FIA or I will cancel my membership and never again join.

Ecclestone and Mosley have lost the plot of F1. They have slathered themselves in the wealth and power of the sport for so many years that they honestly felt that they were beyond reproach and as the sport boasts 5.5 billion viewers, I can’t help but guess that number is dwindling quikly.

CVC is holding the bag as they bought in to the notion of Ecclestone’s gambit of floating the bond for F1 and hedging future revenue of the sport. They will lose massively if they don’t get the two insufferable curmudgeons out of leadership roles and start dealing with FOTA directly.

FOTA knows this and had this statement today. I think it’s clear that the FOTA unity that Ecclestone and Mosley so desperately wanted to destroy has actually started to destroy the unity of FOM, FOA and the FIA. Good luck boys.

Luca is coming and hell is coming with him!

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