Team alliance told they do not have entries for 2010...
Today the Formula One Teams' Association, alongside Force India, Williams, Campos, Manor and US F1, met officials from the FIA governing body in the hope of signing off the rules and regulations for participation in
next year's FIA Formula One World Championship.
A short time ago however the FIA announced that 'unfortunately no discussion was possible because FOTA walked out of the meeting.'
The FIA claim that they are not currently entered into next year's championship, despite the governing body publishing an entry list on June 24th listing all eight members, and hence the decision to walk out.
"During the course of this meeting, the team managers were informed by Mr Charlie Whiting of the FIA that, contrary to previous agreements, the eight FOTA teams 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 thereof," a statement began.
"It will be remembered that all eight active FOTA members were included on the 'accepted' entry list as endorsed by the FIA World Motor Sport Council and communicated by FIA press statement on June 24.
"In light of these claims, the FOTA representatives requested a postponement of today’s meetings. This was rejected on the grounds that no new Concorde Agreement would be permitted before a unanimous approval of the 2010 regulations was achieved.
"However, it is clear to the FOTA teams that the basis of the 2010 technical and sporting regulations was already established in Paris.
"As endorsed by the WMSC and clearly stated in the FIA press statement of 24 June 'the rules for 2010 onwards will be the 2009 regulations as well as further regulations agreed prior to 29 April 2009'.
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 One in jeopardy.
"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.
"The FOTA members 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 One."
Quite where FOTA, the FIA and Formula One Administration - the commercial rights holders - can go from here is far from clear. If, as FOTA claim, the team alliance does not have entries into next year's championship, then the World Motor Sport Council meeting of last month is effectively null and void.
As it stands, FOTA has no agreement regarding governance of the sport, no new commercial agreement and at the same time has managed to put itself in a situation where they have no real power for negotiation...
At the same time, the FIA seems to have reignited a battle that many perceived to be over. The question as to why remains.