In an unprecedented move, eight of the major teams involved in Formula One racing have announced that they are breaking away from the FIA administered championship that’s run by F1-Czar Bernie Ecclestone.
The FIA, Mr Ecclestone and the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) have been arguing for more than eight months over the future of the premiere level of motor sport, and now it seems to have ended in a permanent rift.
The FOTA statement represents some heavyweights in motor sport with the organisation representing BMW-Sauber, BrawnGP, Scuderia Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Renault, Scuderia Toro Rosso and Toyota.
In a statement issued after a meeting at the historic Silverstone track in Britain FOTA has said that; “These teams therefore have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new 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, the FOTA statement adds.
The statement says that since the formation of FOTA last September the teams have worked together and sought to engage the FIA and commercial rights holder, to develop and improve the sport.
“Unprecedented worldwide financial turmoil has inevitably placed great challenges before the F1 community. FOTA is proud that it has achieved the most substantial measures to reduce costs in the history of our sport.
“In particular the manufacturer teams have provided assistance to the independent teams, a number of which would probably not be in the sport today without the FOTA initiatives. The FOTA teams have further agreed upon a substantial voluntary cost reduction that provides a sustainable model for the future.
“Following these efforts all the teams have confirmed to the FIA and the commercial rights holder that they are willing to commit until the end of 2012.
Not mincing its words about the breakdown in relations between the parties, the FOTA statement says the FIA and the commercial rights holder have campaigned to divide FOTA.
FOTA says the wishes of the majority of the teams were ignored, and furthermore, tens of millions of dollars have been withheld from many teams by the commercial rights holder, going back as far as 2006.
Despite this and the uncompromising environment, FOTA has genuinely sought compromise.
It has become clear however, that the teams cannot continue to compromise on the fundamental values of the sport and have declined to alter their original conditional entries to the 2010 World Championship.