You might be forgiven for thinking that the F1 community yesterday linked arms and voluntarily jumped over the cliff into a gaping abyss, leaving the FIA-backed establishment facing the prospect of staging an official world championship contested by a group of makeshift newcomers while the cream of the sport aligned with the F1 teams’ association will face an equally exacting task finding race tracks and broadcasters who wish to support what will certainly be branded as a breakaway championship.
FOTA faces a complex challenge getting a new series off the ground, but it is by no means impossible. Even FIA president Max Mosley has admitted that the governing body will be prepared to licence a breakaway series if the manufacturers so choose, although whether he will be so sanguine when it comes to the crunch remains to be seen, particularly as most FOTA members make little secret of the fact that Mosley is the main cause of the problem.
In practical terms the eight dissident teams – Ferrari, BMW Sauber, McLaren, Toyota, Renault, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Brawn – have now got to get down to the practicalities of going it alone. They may pray that Mosley might defuse the situation by announcing at the next FIA world motor sport council meeting that he will not re-stand for election as the governing body’s president in October, but they would be unwise to pin their hopes on such a selfless act.