You might think that Gordon Brown has got his problems, but Max Mosley could be about to trigger a seismic F1 meltdown which will make our prime minister’s little difficulties look like a walk in the park.
Yesterday, in an interview with the respected Swiss racing magazine Motorsport Aktuell, Mosley dramatically raised the stakes in his confrontation with the Formula One Team’s Association by telling the nine teams who submitted their entries en bloc last Friday, that if they don’t like the new rules then they had better push off and make their own arrangements for their own separate championship.
“We(the FIA) have been running Formula One for the past 60 years and will continue to do so,” said Mosley, who advised the teams who want a new Concorde agreement signed before 12 June, the day on which the governing body is scheduled to confirm who has been granted an entry and who has not.
I don’t wish to pour scorn on the sport’s governing body, but when the March team, which hasn’t existed since 1993, was announced as one of the organisations to have submitted an entry, I burst out loud laughing. There are a lot of very serious professional teams who have submitted entries for the F1 championship in 2010, but most of them have as much chance of getting a proper Grand Prix team on the road as I have.
Not because they are not competent, but because the very problem which Mosley has been seeking to address – ie acute lack of money – affects these small organisations every bit as much as the established teams.
If Mosley ends up by kicking the top teams out, does anybody seriously think that half the substitute teams entered, such as Litespeed and Campos, could really put their hands on 40m euros to get an F1 team off the ground for the start of next year?
With respect, I certainly don’t, and it is ironic that the arguments for cost containment which have been one of Mosley’s more credible initiatives in recent years could yet blow up in his face and bring the whole business collapsing around his ears. It won’t, of course, because there will be a compromise. But in the meantime the sport is painting itself into an idiotically embarrassing corner.