Teams buy themselves time with conditional 2010 entry

PoliticsAll the Formula One teams have submitted their entries for the 2010 championship, but with the condition that a new agreement between the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) and the FIA is signed, and that the rules for next year are “identical for all competitors and amended in accordance with proposals that FOTA has submitted to the FIA.”

The teams have been locked in a fierce battle with the FIA in the run up to today’s deadline for entry into the 2010 season over the proposed £40 budget cap. The teams say it would damage the sport by creating a two-tier system and Ferrari, who have been leading the protest, have threatened to quit the sport, along with Toyota, Red Bull Racing, and Renault.

But with the teams facing the very real threat of losing their place on the grid next year, the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) gave in to the FIA and submitted a collective entry for 2010.

However, FOTA confirmed that the entry was conditional on a new Concorde Agreement being signed by the teams and the FIA before 12 June. This effectively buys the teams more time to negotiate with the FIA over the proposed regulations for 2010 and beyond.

It will also give them more time to challenge the proposed budget cap and push their agenda for achieving a more sustainable sport through the standardisation of key components on the car, and a redistribution of revenue.

FOTA said in a statement: “FOTA confirms all its Members long-term commitment to be involved in the FIA Formula One World Championship and has unanimously agreed further and significant actions to substantially reduce the costs of competing in the Championship in the next three years, creating a mechanism that will preserve the technological competition and the sporting challenge and, at the same time, facilitate the entry in the F1 Championship for new Teams.”

“These measures are in line with what has already decided in 2009 within FOTA, achieving important saving on engines and gearboxes.”

The teams organisation went on to outline its two conditions for entry into the 2010 season:

“All FOTA teams have entered the 2010 championship on the basis that:
1) The Concorde Agreement is signed by all parties before 12th June 2009, after which all FOTA teams will commit to competing in Formula One until 2012. The renewal of the Concorde Agreement will provide security for the future of the sport by binding all parties in a formal relationship that will ensure stability via sound governance.

“2) The basis of the 2010 regulations will be the current 2009 regulations, amended in accordance with proposals that FOTA has submitted to the FIA.”