F1 is now ticking off the days to what well might be a high octane version of Armageddon which could be coming the sport’s way on 12 June. That’s the day on which FIA president Max Mosley will be announcing just who has been accepted to contest the 2010 world championship.
So who will it be? Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Renault, Toro Rosso, Force India, BMW Sauber, Brawn and Toyota? Or will it be Williams, Prodrive, Lola, Litespeed, Campos or Superfund? Or a thinly diluted mix of both groups?
Well, of course, the conclusion one draws will be based on two firm premises. Namely, whether you choose to believe that the ‘stand off’ between the established teams and the FIA over cost capping is just a set-piece confrontation, a typical slice of F1 window dressing intended simply to strengthen the value of the ‘franchises’ of those long-serving organisations.
Or you may choose to believe that, in a maverick moment, Mosley could just press the nuclear button, tell the sport’s most famous names to take a long walk on a short pier, and reinvent budget F1 with a bunch of novices, newcomers and nonentities. A bit like he did when he was one of the founding fathers of the March team, in fact, way back in 1970.
I was interested to read that Ferrari team chief Stefano Domenicali claimed that Ferrari was “staying true to their principles” by being part of the FOTA ‘conditional entry’ for the 2010 world championship which was submitted to the FIA last week.
He stated that “the entries will only be valid if the Concorde agreement is signed and if the regulations will be those currently in use, but modified as per FOTA’s suggestions.”
Over the past few weeks it has been difficult to discern precisely who is in the driving seat as far as this dispute is concerned. The only thing that has become clear to me is that costs in this business have now well and truly spiralled so far out of control that even the FIA’s recent, seemingly sane, initiative on the matter is in danger of going down the pan. Taken just as a temporary measure for a single year a 100m euro budget cap is utterly ludicrous. Have FOTA and the FIA both been spending too much time out in the sun?
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