Friday, June 19, 2009

F1, FIA or FOTA?

It seems that Max Mosley and the FIA are absolutely determined to destroy Formula 1 motor racing as we know it. For years they've been adding regulation on top of regulation trying to hobble the cars and drivers. Frankly I'm surprised the Grand Prix events don't just have drivers pushing their cars around the circuits now. And so, of course, with the 2010 season, Mosley wanted to introduce yet another ridiculous restriction - this time a cap on the R&D budgets of the teams. Apparently he doesn't understand that cutting-edge motorsports development costs quite a bit of money. Only this time the teams have fought back and today they announced a breakaway series - FOTA - backed by Ferrai, Brawn GP, McLaren, Renault, Toyota, BMW Sauber, Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso.

So where does this leave us - the fans? Well the TV rights will go to hell - all the existing contracts are very long term, and are with F1 and FIA. The same goes for the circuit contracts. So if the FOTA goes ahead with this, we'll be left with scant TV coverage of their events next year, and they'll likely be racing at backwater circuits nobody has ever heard of. In place, we'll have a neutered F1 series with no-name teams, no-name drivers and no-name sponsors racing at empty circuits with no spectators. Genius decision guys - thanks for that.

Why can't the FIA just fire Mosely? That idiot has been nothing but trouble for motor sports with his meddling.

My biggest concern with all of this is that the breakaway FOTA will probably be no better off without the FIA. I doubt they have the stones to re-introduce small wings, V8 and V10 engines, turbochargers and driver aids - in fact all the stuff Mosley has removed over the past decade. Mosley and the FIA keep insisting that their changes make the sport better, when in fact it becomes duller and duller to watch because you essentially have a sport which has been dumbed down to the level of Indy Car - a sport where a procession of cars turn left for 200 miles and then they all finish in the exact same order they started.

Speaking of Indy - Mosley, the FIA and for that matter the breakway FOTA could do well to open the history books and look what happened when the IRL split from CART back in the day. As in nature, when two competing species try to occupy the same niche, one will always die out. In that case it was CART that vanished, and the resulting IRL was weak in comparison, and has never regained the popularity, sponsorship or attendance that CART did. If the same happens in Formula 1, it will become just another motorsports event that nobody cares about.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mostly fair points - I worked within F1 for a few years, the reversion to manual gear change and more driver control has been a good move - less 'nanny' controls that you yourself do not like in your every day drivers (me too - youngest car is a '91 with a few old Triumphs to run around in).
Mosely, on the other hand, is B Ecclestones lap dog, always has been and will continue to be so. What BE says goes in F1. Only 3 major teams were not owing to him - the contracts have them watching him take a massive amount of the monies while they plough development into the sport. He is a VERY smart businessman who has them by the nutzz to put it bluntly. They signed the contracts though.
Mosley should have been thrown to the wolves a long long time ago - the man is a liability to the planet - never mind just F1. How he got away with the prostitute debacle I'll never know...... his lack of humility and refusal to step down amid ridicule just showed how out of touch with the real world the old duffer is.
There are plenty of ex drivers, ambassadors to the sport that would do a far better job..... one of them needs to step up.