Friday, May 29, 2009

D Day for Formula One

59 minutes past the 11th hour tonight marks the deadline for entries for next year's Formula One championship. I've written before about the issues which have led to a sensational threat to quit F1 after 60 years from Ferrari.

I don't think anyone seriously expects agreement not to be reached - there have been a series of meetings over the last week between FOTA (the teams) and the FIA ("Mad" Max Mosley and his cronies) which have been lurching spasmodically towards an uneasy compromise.

I think what's surprised me most is that the unity has pretty much held, apart from Williams, between the teams, despite them being quite a broad church. At one end, Ferrari was saying "to hell with budget caps" and at the other Ross Brawn seemed all excited at the idea that reducing costs would increase technical freedom and encourage creativity. The fact that FOTA has acted as one is, I hope, laying down a marker for the future, giving Mosley a clear signal that he can't mess with them.

If anything could make British politics look squeaky clean and democratic at the moment, it's the murky world of Formula One governance. That has to change in the future, for the sake of the sport. There's a bit of me that wants the whole field not to submit their entry tonight and continue the battle for reform, but I think that might be asking a bit much....

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