FIA-FOTA conflict over soon

FOTA have over the past few weeks threatened to form a breakaway series next season. So, despite the recent ‘walkout’ by the FOTA members during a meeting with the FIA over next seasons’ regulations, some of the workings which will be finalized in the next few days could mean that a middle ground can be met. Come Wednesday when the Formula 1 teams are all expected to agree on how cost can be controlled in the next few seasons and sign the legal document. After that, a Concorde Agreement is expected to come into place before the next race (Hungarian GP) between CVC, the commercial rights holders of the Formula 1 and the teams.

In reviewing this, Ross Brawn of Brawn GP said that the agreement will be vital. "I really hope so. We need to sort this out. All the teams are suffering. This is not a helpful environment for sorting out our commercial situation. You cannot tell partners or investors what the future holds, and we want to be able to do that. We want to have confidence in explaining what F1 is going to be about in the next five years, so we really do need to get that all sorted. It is a terrible distraction in what's a fantastic season. It's a great shame."

He was also aware of the repercussions of the walkout by the FOTA members last Wednesday but called it merely a ‘blip’. He said "It was disappointing. Nobody enjoys those things and in the technical area a lot of the teams have had a very good relationship with the FIA over the years and it's very disappointing when those things happen. It was just an untenable situation. If we get all the other matters sorted out then we can get the technical side back on a sensible footing. We are seeking a solution with the commercial rights holder and the FIA to get everybody happy and comfortable with going forward. I don't want to say too much. There is a lot of work going on and it is being done in the right spirit. Wednesday last week was very disappointing but I hope it was just a blip in the process rather than a chasm."

Martin Whitmarsh, the team principal of McLaren too is in agreement that the issues have to be settled between CVC and the FIA. He said "A FOTA series is clearly an option, and we need to know quickly what we are doing. The later we leave it, the more difficult it is. So, I don't think that will be based upon individuals and egos that are in F1, it will be based upon – do we have an acceptable contract? Do we have an entry at the moment? I am a little bit confused about that I suppose. FOTA is not here to campaign against any individual, it is here to try and improve the sport. And we all know that we can improve the sport, and that is not to criticise any one individual or any one organisation. We the teams can do a better job, we can work together, and we can work with the governing body, we can work with the commercial rights holder, so we have got to make it better. It may be part of the problem in the situation that all of the parties feel that they can go their own way. If you follow that, you don't always get to a consensus quickly enough."