Breakaway championship off as FIA and FOTA make peace

The threatened breakaway championship, to be run by FOTA, has been called off as the teams made peace with the FIA in Paris today.

FOTA have yet to make a statement but the FIA released one this afternoon, announcing that there would only be one F1 from next year. This will be greeted by a loud sigh of relief from FIA President Max Mosley and FOM Chairman Bernie Ecclestone, as well as a collective one from all F1 fans.

The FIA statement focused on the thorny issue of cost cuts – all mention of a budget cap has been scrapped and replaced by a general commitment to reduced spending levels.

It said: “As part of this agreement, the teams will, within two years, reduce the costs of competing in the championship to the level of the early 1990s.

“The manufacturer teams have agreed to assist the new entries for 2010 by providing technical assistance.”

Talk of mutiny against the FIA from FOTA has been quelled by the agreement, and a new governing document in the shape of a renewed Concorde Agreement is expected to be drawn up soon.

“The manufacturer teams have further agreed to the permanent and continuing role of the FIA as the sport’s governing body,” added the statement. “They have also committed to the commercial arrangements for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship until 2012 and have agreed to renegotiate and extend this contract before the end of that period.

“All teams will adhere to an upgraded version of the governance provisions of the 1998 Concorde Agreement.”

In the biggest scalp for the teams, Max Mosley has agreed not to stand for re-election as FIA President when his term expires in October. This may well have been the deal clincher the teams were looking for, as Mosley was widely thought to be the cause of the recent difficulties.

But Mosley and Ecclestone will count this as a victory for F1, even if it carries a strong warning for their style of autocratic governance.