The War Ends Before It Begins

24 hours ago Max Mosely and Luca di Montezemelo were sat discussing the FIA/FOTA fiasco, with Bernie Ecclestone also present presumably as moderator as well as looking after his own interests. The trio reportedly discussed the issues for most of the night in order to strike a deal before Wednesday’s crucial FIA World Motorsport Council (WSMC) meeting, in which frankly anything could have happened.

Thankfully the time pressure of the deadline meant common sense broke out and the following agreements were announced:

- There will be no FOTA breakaway, instead they will report back tomorrow with cost-reduction proposals.
- Budgets are to be reduced to “early 1990s levels” within two years. Curiously the method for achieving this was not stated so the budget cap may not be the answer.
- The 1998 Concorde Agreement, which determines the distribution of revenues, methods for agreeing regulations, and more, has been amended and extended to 2012. This means all teams are committed to that date.
- There will be 13 teams in the 2010-2012 Formula One World Championship, this is the list per the press release:

SCUDERIA FERRARI MARLBORO
VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES
BMW SAUBER F1 TEAM
RENAULT F1 TEAM
PANASONIC TOYOTA RACING
SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO
RED BULL RACING
AT&T WILLIAMS
FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM
BRAWN GP FORMULA ONE TEAM
CAMPOS META TEAM
MANOR GRAND PRIX
TEAM US F1

The latter three operations will use the cheap Cosworth engines, it is currently unclear if those will be under 2006 regulations since 2006 was the last year Cosworth competed (as a nod to cost-saving). If so this would give them a 2000rpm advantage over the other teams, and not have to run to the multi-race engine rules. While this is clearly unfair, it could be the new teams’ chassis will be so far behind the established teams, for the first couple of years anyway, that it all balances out nicely – should the new teams catch up, they can expect these breaks to be lifted.

You can read the FIA press release on their own website.

* * * *

Within the press release were some other nuggets relating to other FIA series.

World Rally

- The new 1.6 litre turbo engine will be brought in ahead of schedule in 2011.
- Events can now be more flexible. Instead of running to a set 3-day timetable, they may run 2, 3 or 4 days as long as it finishes on a Saturday or Sunday. They may include different surfaces.
- The 2010 calendar is out and you can see it in the link. Looks like the move to a winter championship schedule has been quietly dropped.

World Touring

- Yokohama is the sole supplier for the next three years.
- Autosport reported the 1.6 litre engine will be used in WTCC in 2011 as well, and that it’ll be a spec engine, but the release doesn’t mention this.
- The 2010 calendar is out, check it out in the link. Algarve and Zolder are in. Pau is out. Valencia and Imola move around, assuming Imola is the Italian round.

I find the whole idea of the top rally and touring car series running 1.6 litre engines to be laughable. At least the rally cars will be turbocharged.

World GT

- Stephane Ratel’s plan to expand FIA GT into a new FIA GT1 World Championship has been authorised. GT2 will split into a new European series of its own races, many of which will run on GT1 weekends alongside GT3 and GT4.
- GT1 will be for pro drivers, GT2 for pro-am, and GT3 for non-professionals.
- The Bucharest street race next year is out, instead they’ll go to Budapest (I’m assuming this means the Hungaroring).

It seems like a good idea and I really hope it works for them, despite my reservations at losing the element of class traffic from sportscar racing.

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3 thoughts on “The War Ends Before It Begins

  1. I wonder if the "early 1990s levels" thing is a nod to commonizing some parts, or possibly cutting back further on wind tunnel testing or some such thing. Anyway, I think that's a great idea, since I've never been someone who thought that the budget cap was at all policeable.1.6 liter engines in top-flight touring cars is absolutely laughable. Are people really going to want to watch tin tops that make well under 300 HP, under any circumstances? I think not. What was wrong with the current 2.0 liter formula? You wanna cut costs, cut back on some of the other tech (not that current touring cars have much, but…). Don't cut back on the power.

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  2. Just noticed a typo in the original post – fixed.Standard parts have to be the answer if there is no cap, say some of the suspension parts, or whatever. I don't see how they can regulate something like wind tunnel time.FIA touring cars has been a joke for a while now. The racing can be fun to watch, sometimes, but like any FIA series there are a lot of politics in play. I think they are somewhere under 300bhp already but can't be sure. If they are cutting the engine, I hope they have the decency to put the turbo on the touring car.

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  3. So angry today. Show up at work, do my quick check of the headlines, and Max Mosley is threatening to stand for re-election again in October. I have no words…

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