The long running dispute between the F1 teams’ association and the FIA over plans for cost cutting in 2010 took another unexpected twist yesterday.
The governing body’s president Max Mosley expressed his surprise that Europe’s road car manufacturers apparently lined up behind those formula one teams who are calling for a change in the FIA’s style of governance.
From the touchlines this looked as though it was piling the pressure onto Mosley at a time when he is soon expected to decide whether or not he will be re-standing for election to the FIA presidency in October.
The FIA indicated that they felt it was ironic that the association of (road) car makers seemed to be taking a stance against cost saving in F1 at a time that their industry was struggling financially.
“The FIA is surprised that the European car manufacturers’ association ACEA should have rejected the FIA’s endeavour to reduce costs in formula one,” said a further statement. “By contrast, the FIA strongly endorses ACEA’s call for urgent measures to return the automotive sector to health.”
The FIA also accused some of the teams of deliberately trying to undermine a peace deal which would have resolved the ongoing conflict which looks set to intensify in the run-up to next Sunday’s British GP at Silverstone.
As things stand at the present moment, the FIA has "invited" the McLaren, Renault, BMW Sauber, Toyota and Brawn teams to withdraw the conditions attached to their entries for the 2010 world championship by this Friday when first practice kicks off at the Northamptonshire track.
“During the meeting(last week) FOTA acknowledged that the FIA wanted to encourage the introduction of new teams to the championship (in order) to maintain its stability and economic viability in the long term,” said a statement from the govering body yesterday.
“Agreement was reached on the technical regulations for 2010 which offered assistance for new teams from the currently competing teams in several key areas. There is clearly an element in FOTA which is determined to prevent agreement being reached regardless of the damage it may cause.”
In response, FOTA issued a statement making it clear that they would not be responding in detail to the allegations made by the FIA. A spokesman said that the teams wanted to avoid “a prolonged series of polemical statements that generate confusion and does not help create a positive environment for the ongoing contact.”