You'd have to search pretty hard to find an environment more competitive than Formula One. Sure, any sport (motorized or otherwise) is inherently competitive, but imagine if, say, football teams were each required to not only hire and train their own players, but also design and manufacture their own footballs, helmets and other essential equipment – a fresh batch each year to meet changing regulations, with costs measured in the tens of millions – and then take them on the road from
The New York Times is reporting that the Formula One Teams Association is losing momentum. Both Ferrari and Red Bull have announced their departure from the organization that was supposed to be a forum for advancing the goals of the sport's teams, big and small. In a statement, Ferrari simply said that the FOTA had "run its course." The organization never quite managed to accomplish its goals, including installing a cap on spending to level the playing field and increase competition in this noto
Bernie Ecclestone has controlled the commercial rights to Formula One for so long it seems like he always has and always will. But that's not exactly the full story. While Ecclestone was the first to negotiate for control over the sport's commercial aspects – namely its television broadcasting rights – there was a time when he had to relinquish control. And that time may come again soon.
There's only so many chairs one man can sit in at once. But Luca di Montezemolo has made an art out of pushing the limits. In addition to serving as chairman of both Ferrari and the Fiat group, the hereditary nobleman was, until recently at least, also chairing the Italian Confindustria employers' federation and the FIEG editorial organization. But something's got to give, and at the end of this year he's stepping down from his role as the founding chairman of the Formula One Teams Association.
No one could have predicted what has happened so far in the Formula 1 this year. Brawn GP, a team that didn't even exist a few weeks before the season started, dominated the first half of the season, Jenson Button, who scored just three points in 2008, has won six of the first seven races, and the Formula One Teams Association threatened to leave and start their own series. Oh, did we mention Michael Schumacher is coming back to the series?
Bernie Ecclestone didn't get to be a billionaire by waiting for things to come his way. With the threat of a breakaway series seemingly very real once again, the man credited with making Formula 1 what it today is has apparently decided to make sure he is on it. F1 Live reports that last month, Ecclestone filed trademark application papers for Formula Grand Prix, Formula GP, and GP3, in addition to applying to protect his GP1 and GP1 Series logos.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the Formula One waters, Max Mosley goes and sends a nasty-gram to Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) chairman and Ferrari head honcho Luca di Montezemolo threatening to back out of his promise to step down from his throne as leader of the FIA if he doesn't get a full apology ASAP.
After all of this year's soap opera stories in Formula One, it appears there will be a unified championship series next year after all. According to The Times UK, controversial F1 boss Max Mosley has been "forced into a humiliating climbdown as president of the FIA," and his reign is over effective today.
Take a poll anywhere outside of Max Mosley's or Bernie Ecclestone's motor homes and you'll probably find a preponderance of F1 fans rooting for the Formula One Teams Association. When the FOTA announced a breakaway series for 2010, it took just about 12 hours for the FIA to uncork its laywers. Just two days later, says F1 Live, at the British Grand Prix, Mosley himself said "There won't be any writ. I think we would rather talk than litigate," so everyone could "sit down and iron out the last fe
Barely a half a day has passed since the FOTA announced it start a breakaway championship, and as predicted, the FIA has announced it's suing the rebel teams. The FIA's sternest words were aimed at Ferrari, saying "The actions of FOTA as a whole, and Ferrari in particular, amount to serious violations of law including willful interference with contractual relations, direct breaches of Ferrari's legal obligations and a grave violation of competition law."
It's official: F1 is broken. At least, with the FOTA's announcement it will create a rival championship, it appears that F1 as we have known it is all but broken. Max Mosley and the FIA have gone back and forth with the FOTA for months, with neither side able to agree on a compromise and both sides claiming the other party is being intransigent.
It is unclear whether reality show impresario Mark Burnett is actually the one running Formula 1, but the political goings-on of the series continue to overshadow what happens on the track. The FIA recently published the 2010 regulations with some novel inclusions: a winner-take-all system for determining the Championship (yes, again), a higher weight for cars to promote KERS usage, and a budget cap system that would let teams spending no more than £40 million have more technical freedom v
Formula 1 so far this year has probably provided a lot more excitement than anyone expected, and in a change from the usual, this time a lot of it is good. The two races so far have seen a heap of on-track passing – and not just of backmarkers – as well as an inversion of the standings: McLaren and Ferrari near at the bottom, Brawn (née Honda) and Toyota are at the top.
As if there could be any more drama before the 2009 F1 season begins, the recently (and hastily) implemented change to the points system has now been thrown out. This year's "winner take all" format was a variation on the gold medal system Bernie Ecclestone proposed last year that was likewise rejected by the teams.
Although the only official word following the meeting Tuesday in Geneva is that the discussions were constructive, reports indicate that considerable agreements were reached towards bringing down the costs of participation in Formula One without having to resort to spec engines. Among those measures reported include the life of each engine being expanded from the current two-race requirement to three and a requirement for each manufacturer to offer 25 engines for purchase by independent teams at