‘Mercedes Plan’ could be solution to conflict

norberthaug-1.jpgA new compromise plan devised by Mercedes Benz could be the solution to the conflict between the FIA and FOTA, the teams’ organisation.

Today’s Times newspaper reports that Norbert Haug, vice president of Mercedes’ motorsport arm, has presented the plan to FOTA and hopes it will be agreed to by the FIA.

Haug’s plan would see teams spending a maximum of £100 million in 2010. This concession would be subject to them offering assistance to new teams, such as cheap parts and technical collaboration. In addition, the teams would have to commit to F1 until the end of 2012 and agree to the advent of a £40 million cap from 2011.

The plan’s strength lies in its theoretical pleasing of both parties. Ferrari should be reasonably happy to offer support to smaller teams, and would be thrilled to see the threat of two-tier rules disappear. The FIA should be pleased that the £40 million cap will come in only a year later than they proposed.

The weaknesses of the plan are that Ferrari are still unlikely to agree to a cap figure so low. Equally, the FIA is now legally bound to introduce the cap next year, and could face legal action from new entrants if the circumstances are changed now.

With the deadline for entries to the sport in 2010 expiring tomorrow, time is running out for the protagonists. Mercedes Benz’s plan is imperfect, but it may be the compromise fans have been crying out for in recent days.