FIA: FOTA trying to control F1 rules

The FIA has told the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) that it finds its attempts to take over the regulations of F1 and get control of commercial rights as unacceptable, as it explained why it will not back down on a budget cap

With tensions mounting between the governing body and FOTA over cost-cut control and future governance of the sport, the FIA issued a lengthy press statement on Tuesday explaining its stance.

It claims that the efforts made by itself and Formula One Management in making the sport one of the most popular in the world will not be wasted by what the teams want.

"The FIA and FOM have together spent decades building the FIA Formula One World Championship into the most watched motor sport competition in history," it said.

"In light of the success of the FIA's Championship, FOTA - made up of participants who come and go as it suits them - has set itself two clear objectives: to take over the regulation of Formula 1 from the FIA and to expropriate the commercial rights for itself. These are not objectives which the FIA can accept."

The FIA stated that its hardline stance on the budget cap has been fuelled by the lessons learned from trying to cut engine costs, and the fact the manufacturers had refused to commit themselves for the long term.

"Mr. [Luca] di Montezemolo promised to secure the necessary guarantees from the main car manufacturing companies (not to be confused with guarantees from the teams).

"He continued to promise this all through the winter, most recently at a meeting he had with the FIA's President on 23 February 2009. Not one such letter has been forthcoming - not even from Mr. di Montezemolo's own company FIAT.

"At the same time FOTA and Mr. di Montezemolo rebuffed all attempts to hold meetings to discuss cost reduction. There was no need, the FIA were told. FOTA's own measures were adequate and they would make up for the shortage of cars by each running a third car. By March it was clear that FOTA had no intention of facilitating the entry of new teams, indeed were opposed."

Speaking about why a budget cap was seen as the best way forward, the FIA explained: "If we wish to see innovative technology in Formula 1, the only way is to limit expenditure and allow the engineers freedom to do their best within a fixed budget.

"This is exactly what happens in the real world and it is the only way forward for Formula 1. Without technical innovation, Formula 1 will wither and die. Without real cost constraints, Formula 1 will lose its teams. This is why the FIA is insisting on cost restraint as part of the Formula One regulations."

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