In the dead of Thursday night in England, the eight FOTA teams decided to issue a statement announcing that a breakaway world championship will be formed. The announcement came on the eve of the FIA's Friday deadline for making unconditional ...
In the dead of Thursday night in England, the eight FOTA teams decided to issue a statement announcing that a breakaway world championship will be formed.
The announcement came on the eve of the FIA's Friday deadline for making unconditional entries for the official Formula One series, and amid the sides' deadlocked negotiations about income, governance and rules.
"The FIA and the commercial rights holder have campaigned to divide FOTA," the statement read. "The wishes of the majority of the teams are ignored.
"Furthermore, tens of millions of dollars have been withheld from many teams by the commercial rights holder, going back as far as 2006."
"These teams therefore have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new championship which reflects the values of its participants and partners," said the Formula One teams association.
The details of the new series, including a name, circuits and starting year, have not yet been announced. At present its grid would feature 16 cars, unless the eight involved teams each field three drivers.
FOTA said: "This series will have transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide, partners and other important stakeholders.
"The major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series."
The formation of the series will spark more political turmoil, especially given that Ferrari and the Red Bull teams were unconditionally included on the FIA's entry list, due to disputed agreements with the F1 ruling bodies.
It is therefore likely that Ferrari's name will feature above the garages at Albert Park next year, while the famous Italian team races elsewhere.
F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, whose Formula One Management is contracted to and aligned with the FIA and Max Mosley, has already vowed to legally challenge the defection of teams, and any attempts to negotiate with his contracted promoters and TV broadcasters.
The inclusion on the breakaway series of loved venues including Monaco, Spa and Monza will therefore be contested, while FOTA's plans do not involve the successful British team and expelled FOTA member Williams, which like Force India is committed to the FIA championship next year.