The future of Grand Prix racing

Posted by Posted by Grand Prix Blogger On 12:31

These are turbulent times in the world of Formula One Grand Prix racing. Currently the stalemate between FOTA (Formula One Teams Association) made up of Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, BMW Sauber, Toyota, Brawn, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso and the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) has led to the FOTA teams announcing the formation of a new racing series. This will, in their opinion, surpass F1 as the pinnacle of motorsport.

This hugely dramatic turn of events was brought about by FIA President Max Mosley announcing that, for the 2010 Formula One World Championship, we would see the introduction of a £40 million optional budget cap.

The only F1 teams to break from FOTA and sign unconditionally for an FIA-led F1 championship, complete with the £40 million budget cap in 2010, are Williams Grand Prix Engineering and Force India. Their acceptance of the FIA budget cap, and their actions in signing for the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship led to their suspension from FOTA.

There was hope that by last Fridays deadline for the FOTA teams to sign for the 2010 FIA-led chamionship we would see peace descend on the F1 paddock. Instead at midnight on Thursday the 18th of June the FOTA teams announced that they were to form their own championship. This left just Williams and Force India along with three new entrants, Team USF1, Campos Grand Prix and Manor Grand Prix signed up for the 2010 FIA-led Formula One World Championship.

So where does this leave us? What is the future of the Formula One World Chamionship? Could this really be the end? I for one doubt it. As Max Mosley has stated when interviewed by the BBC over the British Grand Prix weekend, it is one thing for the teams to say they will form their own championship but quite another to actually do it. Mosley appears, at least on the exterior, to be confident that most of the current members of FOTA will line up on the grid for an FIA-led Formula One World Chamionship in 2010.

Manafacturers such as Renault, Toyota and BMW have boards of directors that want to see a return on their investment. With a global financial crisis in full swing it is very hard to see them pumping huge chunks of cash into activities such as racing. This alone seems to be a stumbling block for the arguments in favour of the new series.

I for one am with Max Mosley on this one, as the idea of a championship run by the F1 teams seems a recipe for disaster. A sport such as F1 needs an independant party to govern it. The teams seem to find agreeing on anything impossible. Look at the events that led to a four car race at Indianapolis in 2005, brought about by arguments and disagreement amongst the teams. Yes in principle what happened was correct but for the good of the sport the teams could not reach an agreement - so what would an entire series be like?

Make sure you visit Grand Prix Blogger for all the latest developments on this ever-evolving story in the coming weeks.


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