Martin Whitmarsh has finally spoken this weekend on the ongoing discussions between the FIA and FOTA over the 2010 regulations that has teams threatening to leave the series. McLaren has been quite during these public outbursts from Max Mosley and Luca di Montezemolo. That was usually not the case when Ron Dennis was at the helm but perhaps the recent “lie-gate” issue and 2007’s espionage penalty McLaren have decided to take the high road on the politics of F1. Then again, perhaps Martin Whitmarsh has a different tack all together. A gentler approach to negotiation. Then again, just what are McLaren’s intentions? Mercedes Motorsport boss Norbert Haug has made it evidently clear that they intend on filing an application for 2010 but is that what Martin feels?
“We need between us to find a good solution for Formula 1, for the fans, for everybody,” he said. “It’s very easy at these critical times for egos, and the like, to get in the way of finding a solution.
“A lot has been said in the run up to the meetings, which probably doesn’t help because it only causes people to be entrenched in their position. I think we all have a responsibility, those of us who are involved in the sport, to find a positive way forward.
“There are 10 teams here who have shown great commitment to be in Formula 1. There are probably three teams who wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the efforts of the FOTA, and I think there has to be a determination to make sure that we retain 10 teams at least.
“So we need to try to be calm, be constructive and work together. There were some constructive parts of the meeting yesterday, but not everything is agreed. The priority at the moment is to make sure we find a positive way forward for the sport.”
It seems Martin feels all teams and the FIA need to reach an agreement but if Max digs in and starts lobbing political grenades; will Martin blink? Will McLaren jump ship, like Ferrari did in 2004? Has Bernie’s presence at the FOTA meetings been beneficial or can the maestro of F1 buy a vote or signature like he did in 2004?