The meeting between the Formula 1 teams, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone in London on Friday was billed as being an opportunity for all concerned to find a solution to the budget-capping problem. In the end, however, it appears to have turned into something rather more serious with Ferrari lawyers in France applying for an injunction to stop the FIA from going ahead with its plans. The legal argument is apparently based on an agreement that was made in January 2005 between Ferrari, the FIA and Formula One Management. A press release was issued at the time (click here to download it) which said that “the FIA, Formula One Management and Ferrari have agreed to prolong the Concorde Agreement for the period 2008 to 2012” and quoted Max Mosley, Bernie Ecclestone and Luca di Montezemolo all saying that the agreement would stabilise Formula 1.
The details of this agreement have never been made public but it seems that it included not only a substantial payment each year to Ferrari, but also a veto on the technical regulations in the future. According to our sources, the document even stated that if the new agreement was not validated by all the other teams, the old Concorde Agreement would prevail.
If that was the case, therefore, Max Mosley does not have the right to make any rules and regulations without the Formula 1 Commission being involved. This body has not met for several years.
Whatever the details, Ferrari lawyers must believe that they have a good case.
We hear that Mosley was relatively conciliatory in the course of the meeting. Whether or not the manufacturers will be satisfied with a compromise on the budget cap remains to be seen.
The meeting was not attended by Ferrari and FOTA chairman Luca di Montezemolo because of the death of his father. Ferrari was thus represented by team principal Stefano Domenicali.