Peace in F1: Winners and Losers
24th June 2009 – armistice day. It hasn’t got quite the same ring as the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (which was the 10th hour anyway by GMT) but we’ll take it.
The planned budget-cap for 2010 is now scrapped to be replaced by FOTA’s own cost cutting regulations, the aim being to achieve costs comparable to the early 1990s. FOTA in turn will sign a new Concorde Agreement committing them to Formula 1 until 2012. However, tellingly, Max Mosley has agreed to not stand for re-election to the role of President of the FIA later this year.
On the face of it, the terms of the agreement seem like a resounding victory for FOTA and a crippling defeat for Max Mosley. However, hasn’t Mosley only achieved what he set out to obtain in the first place, all be it at the cost of his own position?
“They’ve got the rules they want and the stability; we’ve got the new teams in and the cost reduction. So that’s very helpful.” - Max Mosley
You really have to wonder what all the fuss was about over the past few weeks and why Mosley didn’t back down sooner, and with less loss of face in the process.
Mosley isn’t the only loser though. USF1, Manor GP and Campos Meta on the other hand find themselves in a very different situation to the one they entered in. Gone are their technical advantages and they will now be looking at requiring a higher budget in order to compete with the existing teams. In USF1’s case, they shouldn’t have anything to complain about as they planned to enter under the original criteria anyway but 2010 could be a shock for the other two. To soften the blow, FOTA have agreed to provide technical assistance to the new teams but 2010 looks like being a long struggle for the newcomers. Furthermore, questions will still be asked about what might have been had the better resourced alternatives, overlooked by Mosley, been chosen.
The other losers are of course Williams and Force India who having departed the embrace of FOTA will have no say in the 2010 regulations. Possibly they won’t be missing much, as the regulations are not likely to be much changed from this years.
Nor for that matter is FOTA the only winner as Bernie Ecclestone finally gets his wish of a Concorde Agreement in place. Indeed, add in all the press coverage the argument has generated and it’s probably Ecclestone who will go to sleep tonight with the biggest smile of all.
But what about us? The fans. A single series and the survival of Formula 1 can only be good, on paper. The reality may not be so straightforward and it remains to be seen who Max’s successor will be. Mosley, if nothing else, kept things interesting over the years, now we’ll see what life is like without the old dog…