JUNE 24, 2009
A deal is struck, Mosley agrees not to stand again
The FIA World Council meeting this morning in Paris produced a surprise settlement in the FIA-FOTA dispute. Yesterday Max Mosley was saying that he would stand again in the FIA elections in October and was preparing legal actions against the FOTA teams. Today, that is all over. Mosley says he will not stand again and the teams are happy, getting what they wanted in terms of governance and the FIA getting a commitment from the teams to stay in the World Championship until the end of 2012. The resolution came after the FIA World Council, chaired by the Deputy President Nick Craw, asked FIA President Max Mosley, commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone and Ferrari representative Luca di Montezemolo to find a solution. The three men then went to a different meeting room and hammered out a deal. Given the terms that were agreed it is fair to say that Ecclestone probably sided with Montezemolo, as the day before the meeting Mosley was saying that he would stand for election for another term of office and continue his legal actions against the FOTA teams. Mosley will now stand down in October and a new president will be found. It is fairly clear from the World Council membership that losing Mosley was not what was wanted, but that seems to have been a necessary element in getting a deal. The FIA will now start looking for a suitable replacement. Much will depend on the style of the management the FIA wants in the future. That is not the primary consideration at the moment as the most important point is to get F1 back on track and the FIA announced after the meeting that there will be 13 entries for the World Championship next year: the existing 10 teams plus the three new teams nominated by the FIA. The existing teams have given assurances that they will help the new teams with technical matters to ensure that they are ready in time for the new championship.
There will no doubt be much speculation as to whether or not the resolution is a defeat for Mosley, but the key point is that F1 has been saved from what would have been a disastous break-up. It is clear that all sides were willing to accept the decisions made and thus, the sport can move ahead. There are still other problems that need to be solved, not least the future commercial deal after 2012. We hear that there was some talk about this in the settlement that was agreed and it seems that Ecclestone has made some concessions with more income for the teams, but it remains to be seen how this will turn out in the end.
There is believed to be some compromise for the new teams with the Cosworth engine users being allowed 20,000rpm for one year, although this is yet to be confirmed.
There are many rumours suggesting that the next president of the FIA will be Jean Todt, who was Max Mosley's chosen successor. This is really down to the FIA clubs to decide but there is no doubt that many of the teams are opposed to the idea.
It is anticipated that FOTA will remain together in the years ahead and will continue to work towards creating a better sport. It is also expected that Williams, Force India and the three new teams will be given the opportunity to become part of the organisation once again.