Saturday, June 13, 2009

European carmakers call for Max to step down

Friday 12th June 2009

Max Mosley is facing a call to stand down as FIA president as the motor manufacturers of Europe threw their weight behind the Formula One Teams' Association.

Mosley is fully expected to confirm later this month he is to stand for re-election later this year, for what would be a fifth term in office.

But in the wake of his bitter battle with FOTA these past few weeks with regard to next season's regulations, his leadership is being brought into question - and not for the first time.

The war with FOTA prompted an urgent board meeting of the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, who incorporate 15 of the continent's major motor companies.

The ACEA members include BMW, DAF Trucks, Daimler, FIAT, Ford of Europe, GM Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, Porsche, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault, Scania, Toyota Motor Europe, Volvo and Volkswagen.

In support of FOTA, the ACEA "have concluded the current governance system cannot continue."

In addition, they state: "ACEA has come to the conclusion the FIA needs a modernised and transparent governance system and processes, including the revision of its constitution, to ensure the voice of its members, worldwide motorsport competitors and motorists are properly reflected.

"The ACEA members support the activities and objectives of the Formula One Teams' Association to establish stable governance, clear and transparent rules which are common to all competitors to achieve cost reductions including a proper attribution of revenues to the F1 teams, in order to deliver a sustainable attractive sport for the worldwide public.

"Unless these objectives are met, BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Toyota, along with the other teams, are determined to find an alternative way to practice this sport in a manner which provides clarity, certainty of rules and administration, and a fair allocation of revenues to the competing teams."

The inference is clear: Mosley must go, and a time for a new FIA regime is at hand or otherwise a breakaway series will be organised.

The ACEA's position comes on a day when the FIA provoked further controversy with the announcement of next year's line-up, most notably with Ferrari's inclusion against their wishes.

Ferrari have made it clear they have no desire to compete in next year's Championship until, in their own words, "the condition of its entry are satisfied."

Ferrari maintain Mosley has failed to meet those conditions and is "in violation of Ferrari's rights under a written agreement with the FIA."

Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso have also confirmed their loyalty to FOTA, despite the FIA granting them an unconditional entry.

As for McLaren, Renault, Toyota, BMW Sauber and Brawn GP, they have been given an extra week's grace to submit their own unconditional entries, otherwise the FIA will return to the pool of potential new entrants.

FOTA's main gripe concerns Mosley's governance, and the unilateral manner in which he announced a voluntary £40million budget cap for next season without consulting the teams.

This goes directly to the heart of Ferrari's case against the FIA as they claim that under a 2005 agreement with the governing body, they have a right of veto with regard to any new regulations.

In not consulting with Ferrari, Mosley invalidated that contract, and as such Ferrari should not have been given an entry.

FOTA have today sought to bypass Mosley themselves by calling on the World Motor Sport Council and FIA Senate to intervene in the feud.

In a letter leaked to PA Sport, FOTA claim they "respectfully seek the intervention of the World Council to facilitate solutions to the present situation."

In claiming the crisis has been "self generated", FOTA maintain a "wish to find a swift solution to the situation," before issuing a stark warning.

The letter adds: "In case this can not be done, they (the teams) will reluctantly have to seek alternative solutions which protect them.

"In a final attempt to resolve this crisis, further meetings are scheduled for the next seven days.

"We would urge your support to ensure the outcome of these meetings achieves a solution that allows long established competitors to continue in their sport within a framework of sound governance and stability that will ensure the future and sustainability of Formula One."

In their own statement, FOTA have also threatened to lift the lid on their grievances against Mosley and the FIA.

Strongly-worded, it read: "Regrettably FOTA is being forced to outline in detail our objections to the new arbitrary FIA proposals.

"We will release details of our concerns in the near future which will constructively explain why the FIA's proposals are bad for the future of Formula One, the jobs of those employed within the motor-racing industry and especially the millions of loyal fans who are dismayed and confused at the internal bickering within our sport."

Despite the furore, three new teams in Sheffield-based Manor F1 Team, Spain's Campos Grand Prix and US F1, are due to be on the grid next season, along with Williams and Force India who broke with FOTA to submit unconditional entries.

Source : Planet F1

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