Formula 1 Drama Continues: FOTA Walks out of Meeting

Previously, it seemed the Formula 1 drama surrounding the FOTA (Formula One Teams’ Association) and the FIA governing body was over. Now, news of another FOTA walkout comes as FOTA and the FIA returned to the table to finalize the 2010 regulations.

With the publication of the 2010 Formula 1 team entry list on June 24, most of the drama regarding the 2010 season looked to be over. The budget cap was eliminated, Mosley was stepping down as President of the FIA, and the breakaway series was killed. However, at a meeting in Germany, the drama reignited.

The FIA and the teams on the “accepted list” for the 2010 season were to meet today and finalize the technical regulations. The FIA released statements earlier today saying “…no discussion was possible because FOTA walked out of the meeting.”

It seems that although the eight FOTA teams (BMW, Brawn, Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Renault, Toro Rosso, and Toyota) were published on the “accepted list,” they were not officially entered into the 2010 season and, according to the FIA, had no real negotiating power.

“During the course of this meeting,” the FIA announced in a press release, “the team managers were informed by Mr. Charlie Whiting of the FIA that, contrary to the previous agreements, the eight FOTA teams are not currently entered into the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship and have no voting rights in relation to the technical and sporting regulations thereof.

“It will be remembered that all eight active FOTA members were included on the ‘accepted’ entry list as endorsed by the FIA World Sport Council and communicated by FIA press statement on June 24.”

Other stumbling blocks included Mosley’s decision to possibly seek re-election as president of the FIA after all, and that the budget cap may not be easily removed from the 2010 regulations. In order for the budget cap of £40 million ($62 million) to be removed, it requires the agreement from all of the teams entered into the 2010 season. Three new teams–Campos Grand Prix, Manor Grand Prix, and US F1–entered the season under the impression that there would be a budget cap, which made it far more feasible for the fledgling teams to compete.

With the option of a breakaway series nearly dead for next year and FOTA’s lack of bargaining power with the FIA currently, how next year’s F1 grid will look and where the discussions will go is anyone’s guess…

Source: F1 Live