Saturday, May 9, 2009

F1: Teams May Boycott 2010 Entry Deadline


BMW Team Principal Dr Mario Theissen has refused to deny speculation the Formula One Teams Association may boycott the FIA mandated entry-date for next year in a bid to get the two-tier championship overturned.

FOTA is demanding urgent talks with the FIA over the new regulations in a bid to force a change before the May 29 entry deadline.

If a deal cannot be reached in time, rumours emanating from pit lane suggest FOTA will conduct an en-masse protest, forcing the FIA to reconsider its position on next year’s championship.


Dr Theissen evaded the issue when speaking to Autosport, saying: “Sorry. This is part of the discussion we want to have with the FIA.”

The BMW Board recently approved the continuation of its F1 program despite the struggles faced by the team this year, but Dr Theissen believes sentiment could easily change if the FIA does not review the current situation.

“Apparently everybody is disappointed about the sporting results, but other than that there is no news and we have not discussed it since,” he said.

“What is important though is next year’s regulations. We really hope that there will be a one tier F1 next year, and not two classes of cars running to different regulations, because that would definitely affect our next internal evaluation. It would be a different environment.”

FOTA conducted a meeting at Heathrow on Wednesday to discuss the changes planned for next year, and reports indicate teams unanimously oppose the ruling to grant budget-capped outfits certain technical freedoms.

BrawnGP boss Ross Brawn said it was crucial for the teams to find a solution in consultation with the FIA.

“We want to put together some ideas in the next few weeks, and our goal is to reduce costs but also keep F1 as great as possible,” he said.

FOTA’s decision to provide a united front will no doubt be a boost to Ferrari’s hopes of finding a resolution. It comes only a week after FIA President Max Mosley told the Financial Times the sport can survive without the Maranello-based manufacturer.

Ferrari also appears to have found an ally in the drivers, with former World Champions Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso refuting Mosley’s suggestions, saying they cannot imagine an F1 universe without the team.