Is the key to the whole F1 bust-up not tied up in broadcast rights? The Beeb is contracted to broadcast coverage of F1 for the next five years and it is hard to see them spending more licence fee money doing the same for a breakaway championship, harder still for the currently parlous terrestrial commercial stations to do the same.
What then? It’s hard to see sponsors shelling out the millions constructors need to fund their teams on the promise of a few hours on Dave at the weekend. If this problem is replicated in whole or even substantial part in other regions around the world, the F1 teams are going to face the budget cuts they’re trying to avoid any way. Maybe Rupert Murdoch has the answer?
As I understand it however, a prime motivating force behind the breakaway is a desire to escape the clutches of Max Mosley. If so, it’s a pretty drastic move and illustrates better than anything we’ve seen so far the strength of feeling against the man. But what interests me more are the accusations now being hurled at Ferrari by the FIA. These once firmest of friends would now appear as mortal enemies. If the FIA is able to hold Ferrari to what it claims are its contractual obligations it will be interesting to see if the alleged favourable treatment many say Ferrari has enjoyed from the FIA over the years is still forthcoming.
And what would the enforced absence of Ferrari mean for the remaining mutineers? There are those that would claim having Ferrari on the grid is worth all the others put together, a viewpoint that will not be lost on Mr Mosley right now. Divide and rule, as they say.