Ferrari has announced that it will not be entering the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. This is unquestionably a political manoeuvre to put pressure on the FIA to change its budget cap proposal, but it will create all kind of negative publicity that the sport can do without. The teams, the FIA and the Formula One group should be concentrating on how to avoid a repetition of the Spanish GP where the crowd was down 42% on last year and not fighting over how much and how long the budget cap should be. It is clear that this is not about the money, but rather about the exercise of power. The FIA will see it as an attack on its sovereignty and will no doubt refuse to back down. This means that everyone is betting the farm on winning. This means that the sport – and the fans – will lose out.
What happens next? The FIA can try to go ahead and organise a World Championship without Ferrari. In all probability if Ferrari does not enter, other teams will follow suit. Thus the FIA may have to do something drastic and redesignated the GP2 championship as the World Championship. Will this fill the grandstands? Will that cause the Formula One group to lose money and default on its debts? The alternative is that a compromise will be found and the FIA will agree to lower the budget cap or introduce a “glide path”, with the budget cap coming in more gradually. The third option is that there will be a revolt within the FIA and Max Mosley and his supporters will be ousted.
We have no idea which of these will happen, but we know that the fans are going to be the victims of all this.