Major F1 teams officially leave to create new FOTA championship
The Formula One Teams’ Association, FOTA, has officially announced that it is setting up a breakaway championship, during a press conference on June 19. Following a four-hour meeting, the eight FOTA members that includes Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, BMW Sauber, Toyota, Brawn, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso, said they had grown frustrated with the FIA’s stance on new rules for 2010, and had no choice but to create their own series.
FOTA refuses to compromise with the FIA and has chosen to decline their original conditional entries to the 2010 F1 World Championship.
The new championship series aims to have “transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide, partners and other important stakeholders.”
The announcement, made at a FOTA press conference, will the mark the departure of most major F1 star drivers, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with Formula 1.
F1 teams were given until Friday evening to remove the conditions attached to the provisional entries they posted earlier this month, or risk being left off the grid in 2010.
FIA president Max Mosley wrote to the teams the day before, offering them some of the concessions that they wanted to see regarding governance of the sport, but made it clear that he was sticking to plans for the introduction of a budget cap. In his letter, Mosley also urged the teams to sign up to the 2010 championship before sorting out the final version of the regulations and a redrafted Concorde Agreement.
In response to that letter, the teams met at Renault’s headquarters on June 19 for lengthy talks, where they finally decided that there was no way that a compromise deal could be reached with the FIA.
The teams expressed frustration that their efforts to try and improve F1 had been rebuffed by the governing body and the sport’s commercial rights holder.
With FOTA’s stance now seemingly leaving no room for a deal possible, it’s likely that more new teams will be added to the FIA’s 2010 F1 entry list.
The inclusion of Ferrari, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso on that roster remains open to debate, however, with the FIA claiming that the teams committed themselves to F1 in a deal agreed several years ago.