· · · — — — · · ·

When a ship was sinking the radio operators used to send out a very simple message in Morse Code: · · · — — — · · ·. It meant SOS and was the international distress signal. This would bring other ships racing to the scene to rescue whatever could be rescued.

There are times when being an F1 reporter is like being a radio operator, sending out messages about how things are going on a ship that has been out at sea for a long while. Well tonight this radio operator feels the need for a distress signal. The F1 ship is once again in great danger of foundering. God alone knows what is happening up on the bridge, but there is a bloody great hole in the bottom and unless someone starts behaving in a smarter manner than they have of late – and starts doing it very quickly indeed – the whole thing is going to sink without trace.

The man on the street does not understand all of the politicking that has been going on. He does not care. Aside from “the anoraks” who can tell you the chassis numbers of Theodore F1 cars, the people who are counted as F1 fans – because they sit on a couch and gawp at the TV – only really care about the sport if the racing is good. They do not understand, nor care about Max Mosley, Bernie Ecclestone or any of the others involved in the politics. They do not know, nor care who Alan Donnelly is, and whether his interests are conflicted is really of no importance to the man at the fish and chip shop in Bolton.

The stars of the sport are the men like Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, who drive these wonderful machines. The drivers are the knights of the modern era. They are the only people who matter. Them and the men who design their cars. The rest of those around them are the money-changers, the bookies, the stable hands, the ladies of ill-repute, the clowns and the helmet carriers. Some of them are clever, no doubt about it, but they don’t matter… even if they wear a badge saying “Sheriff” or feel important because they represent the interests of a bunch of goat herds in Outer Mongolia.

On June 24 the FIA put out a press statement announcing that a deal had been struck by the interested parties in F1. This had been rubber-stamped by the FIA World Council. The details were sketchy but it was clear who wanted what and what had been agreed. The World Council’s credibility was thus at stake. This was their agreement, hammered out in a back room perhaps, but it had gone back to them and they had voted it through.

What was agreed in Paris? And if nothing was actually agreed why did FOTA agree to it and why did the World Council bother to endorse anything?

Today the FIA claimed that the FOTA walked out of a meeting at the Nurburgring.

Not so, says FOTA. The eight teams were informed by the FIA’s Charlie Whiting that, contrary to previous agreements, they are not currently entered into the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship and have no voting rights in relation to the Technical and Sporting Regulations.

So the FIA entry list issued the other day was not true? How does that work? There was enough trouble getting to that point, wasn’t there? I am sure that if I dug around for a Mosley quote about peace and harmony I could find one, but what is the point?

The FOTA teams requested that the meeting be postponed but this was refused on the grounds that no new Concorde Agreement would be permitted before a unanimous approval of the 2010 regulations was achieved. FOTA argues that the basis of the 2010 Technical and Sporting Regulations was already established in Paris, and endorsed by the FIA World Council. The FIA press statement of June 24 said that “the rules for 2010 onwards will be the 2009 regulations as well as further regulations agreed prior to 29 April 2009”. Now it appears that is not the case.

FOTA says that at no point in the Paris discussions was any requirement for unanimous agreement on regulations change expressed.

“To subsequently go against the will of the WMSC and the detail of the Paris agreement puts the future of Formula 1 in jeopardy,” FOTA said. “As a result of these statements, the FOTA representatives at the subsequent Technical Working Group were not able to exercise their rights and therefore had no option other than to terminate their participation.”

FOTA says it undertook the Paris agreement and the subsequent discussions “in good faith and with a desire to engage with all new and existing teams on the future of Formula 1”.

I can hear the real fans screaming “Stop!! Who cares about this shit? What about the racing?”

What about the jobs of those involved in all these teams?

What about the credibility of those involved. This has all gone too far.

One day there are going to be some very colourful obituaries written about these people.

History always gets the final word. Hopefully F1 will not be a thing of a past when those obituaries are written.

28 thoughts on “· · · — — — · · ·

  1. Whatever microscopic amount of Max Mosley’s reputation that was still intact after ‘Spankgate’, the FIA- FOTA war and the rest is gone. What is the point of it all? It seems like an argument for arguments sake. What a mess.

  2. I starting to feel that Max Mosley is trying to create a situation which shall illustrate how important it is for FIA to have him as a stronger leader and allowes him to stand for reelection.

    This might also explain Bernies recent media appearance voicing his support for strong leadership, assuming that taht was the point he was trying to make.

  3. I want to know what was agreed that convinced FOTA not to go ahead with the breakaway. At the time I thought there action was wrong as nothing had been said or published that made their decision sensible. Now it looks like it was smoke and mirrors.

    We need the FIA to be removed from day to day involvement in F1 and that needs a breakaway. Why go back and let Mosley play his stupid political games? I know a lot of people are against the idea of a breakaway. I would like to ask them to tell me what is so great about the way F1 has been run over the past few years that makes any alternative automatically a bad thing.

  4. So the FOTA Eight cannot vote on regs, but the meeting couldn’t be postponed because there would be no new Concorde Agreement before the regs were accepted on unanimously.

    FIA must be imagining F1 cars racing on a Möbius strip.

  5. Mighty drama. I blame it on the advanced age of Mosley and Mr E, they’re definitely suffering from permanent loss of all brain functions.

    Could CVC please get rid of them both?

  6. “Stop!! Who cares about this shit? What about the racing?”

    – as an F1 fan you expressed my thoughts precisely. For a while the politicking was mildly entertaining, but it’s waaay past that point. I haven’t missed a Grand Prix (on TV) in at least 15 years, but if I have to listen to coverage which is at best 50% racing/50% reporting of the political freakshow that my favourite sport has become… well, honestly there’s a fair chance I may not tune in this weekend.

    Unless it’s raining. 🙂

  7. I’m frankly amazed that this is all kicking off again, and I’m starting to wonder whether the people (person?) responsible for prolonging this whole pathetic mess really care about the sport. Do they actually like F1, or is it just a way to massage their egos?

    The sooner there’s a change of leadership in the sport, the better. Mosley is clearly the sticking point for FOTA (and from what I can gather, rightfully so). He apparently promised to resign, so he should stick to that promise and let the people who actually care for the sport enjoy the rest of a great season.

  8. Joe, when are you announcing your run at the FIA presidency? They would do well to have the voice of reason at the top.

  9. Amen.

    These guys have lost all sight of where their money and power comes from…the fans. I saw what this kind of infighting did to open wheel racing here in the states…the fans left for NASCAR in droves. This has got to stop.

    I agree with LynnD…I was looking forward to tuning in to a race this weekend to see the boys going at it and not hearing commentators discussing the latest back room dealings and temper tantrums. I guess we’ll have to cross our fingers and wait for Hungary.

  10. I have always been massively against a breakaway, but I’m starting to think it is the best option. The FIA are slowly destroying F1, FOTA at the very least do seem to be aware of the need to look after the fans, something the FIA care little for.

  11. Another baffling thing about this announcement is how do the FIA suddenly consider that Ferrari have no longer entered next year’s World Championship? Before the supposed peace deal a couple of weeks ago, Ferrari appeared on next year’s entry list as an unconditional entry, on the basis that they had were contractually bound to the sport until 2012. So with that in mind, how can they possibly have no voting rights?

  12. This has gotten well past the point of reason.

    I think we need fans to start taking action. In American politics, we call it “grassroots” where groups put up the phone number and email address of the people who will be voting and put pressure on them to vote there way.

    We need to start a grassroots campaign to change things. The reason why a lot of these national associations feel like they can support Max is that there is no consequences for them if they keep on supporting him.

    We all have blogs. Everyone put up the contact information for their national membership. Encourage the people who read you blog to send a email to call the association that represents them that things must change.

  13. If I was feeling uncharitable, I’d say “serves FOTA right for dealing with Max” – come on, I bet most of us were half-expecting this sort of antics from Mosely, who has become the villain in a bad Hollywood B-movie who just will NOT go away, and are in no way surprised that the war seems to still be simmering away just below the surface as opposed to openly above ground.

    I know I was…

    FOTA, go for the breakaway. Don’t waste time trying to deal with Max, he simply cannot be trusted to stick to anything that he says. Don’t give him another opportunity to renege or U-turn or conveniently forget details of any agreement. Just do it.

  14. When will the powers that be realise that F1’s about the Grands Prix not the Grand Pricks and their power games?

  15. As I said on Twitter, this war will only stop when Darth Ecclestone throws Emperor Mosley off a bridge.

    But seriously is there anyone who can, (who has the guts) charge Mosley with bringing the sport into disrepute?

    I say it’s time Fota cut the crap and set up the alternative championship. Call the Furher’s bluff and turn it into the success that F1 should be and the success the fans of motorsport deserve.

  16. Well as someone who considerers themselves half way between an anorak and a fan I don’t think this is MM’s doing.

    I think it’s BCE pulling the strings and I think his objective is pissing CVC off so much that he can offer to “do them a favour” and buy the whole shooting match for a bargain price.

  17. It’s got to the point where I’ve started a campaign for people to send bags of nuts over to the FIA’s headquarters at the Place de la Concorde, containing messages calling for Max’s removal. Perhaps something that solid is needed, since the words of fans are so repeatedly ignored by the FIA and its President.

  18. Mosley can’t be trusted, FOTA knew this.

    The whole miserable mess could have have been ended if FOTA went ahead with their own series.

    For the sake of the fans and F1, it’s time to finally call it a day on Max and the FIA, and leave them behind.

    Enough is enough!

  19. Best season ever! Its nip an tuck all the way.

    They should make a game of this, FIA is computer controlled, you pick a FOTA team and you try to out smart Max.

    But winning will be virtually impossible cos the computer will randomly f*ck you over just when you think youve got it in the bag.


  20. Joe,
    Thanks for confirming that I don’t fall under the anorak labeling. I was always worried about that. I honestly don’t care anymore now. It is true that there is nothing like F1 but my interest in touring cars and other motor sports is really kicking in these days for some reason…I’m not sure why? Could be the fact that thay just go out there and race. I still think this is a case of Max v Luca and maybe it is time for both of them to take a long holiday. Anyway, FOTA and FIA must want to stay together as anyone with half a brain would of given up by now. This has gone on for far too long. Maybe bringing in the goat herder from outer Mongolia is not a bad idea at this point. Maybe they can make some sense of it and come up with a simple solution.

  21. “But winning will be virtually impossible cos the computer will randomly f*ck you over just when you think youve got it in the bag.”

    … just like most computer games 😉

  22. When will someone hold Max Mosley to account for bringing not just F1, but the FIA itself into disrepute?

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