FOTA to Launch Rival Championship
It was supposed to be farewell to Silverstone this weekend, but unless something dramatic happens quickly it looks like it will be the eight current members of FOTA who will be saying farewell to Formula One and launching their own series, potentially including Silverstone.
Following a four hour meeting at Renault’s headquarters in Enstone, FOTA have decided enough is enough and there is no point continuing their discussions with the FIA and Max Mosley. Instead they will start preparing a rival championship which “reflects the values of its participants and partners.”
“This series will 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 major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series.” - FOTA Press Release
FOTA are saying the right things but we’re on the brink of a sad day for motorsport and the World Championships in particular, in it’s 60th season. It has strange echos of last year when Silverstone was celebrating it’s 60th birthday and Bernie Ecclestone chose to spoil the party by announcing that the circuit was to be dropped. It’s also quite poingnant that the circuit where the World Championship began may bear witness to it crumbling.
It remains to be seen how the FIA respond – perhaps this decision will force Max Mosley to make concessions. Then there is still the question mark hanging over his insistance that Ferrari, Red Bull and Toro Rosso are contractually obliged to take part next year. Forcing them to take part though, is hardly a recipe for a sucessful series. FOTA, however, appear to be arguing that the withholding of winnings by the commercial rights holders has left any contract null and void.
The crisis is picking up speed but it’s not all over yet by a long shot.
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