Whitmarsh: FOTA in teams' hands

Team principals must decide for themselves if the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) has a future, reckons its chairman Martin Whitmarsh, amid questions about its long-term viability

Whitmarsh: FOTA in teams' hands

On the back of tensions about the implementation of the Resource Restriction Agreement (RRA), Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali warned on Sunday that FOTA could collapse if problems are not resolved at a meeting scheduled to take place at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

With Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner also warning that FOTA is at a crossroads, the get together at the penultimate race of the season appears to be now key to the organisation going forward.

But Whitmarsh, who has been chairman of FOTA for the past two years, says he is not worried of its collapsing due to the RRA controversy.

"No I am not," he said, when asked by AUTOSPORT if he was concerned about FOTA's future. "I think FOTA is an association that has private meetings and I don't think I have often, I hope never, spoken about what goes on in the meetings. That would be the wrong thing to do.

"We are not a PR machine, we are there to make some progress. FOTA should be very proud of what has been achieved so far. It can only achieve what its membership wants it to achieve and I think we have still got work to do to play a strong and contributing part to this sport, but we will see going forward what we do."

When asked about the stance of Horner, who also said recently in an interview that he does not spend much time thinking about FOTA, Whitmarsh said: "He probably doesn't. I don't think any of us want to spend too much time, I think we all want to go racing.

"We have a business to run and I think we have a range of vulnerable teams. Historically the winning teams and the big teams haven't cared two jots about the small teams.

"This is McLaren's 700th grand prix, and 107 grand prix teams have failed since we have been in motor racing. One of the reasons why I subscribe a little bit of time to FOTA is that we have an obligation to try and minimise [this situation] - we cannot afford to spit teams out at the rate we have over the past few years, or over the history of the sport.

"We have an obligation to try and make those teams survive. There are teams here that would openly concede that they would not be here without FOTA. That in itself is a positive, regardless of anything else we want to claim or point to."

He added: "It has never achieved as much as I would have liked, just as my car is never as quick as I would like it to be, and just as I am never as rich as I would want to be, but that is life. But I am proud of what it has achieved. And we can do more if all the teams want to and want to cooperate.

"We are an association that generally required unanimity to go forward on lots of these strategic issues and we are a sport full of egos, personalities, competitiveness and paranoia, but so far what has been achieved is fantastic.

"We have genuinely bought costs down for the big teams, we have arrested a number of things - things like DRS came out of FOTA, and things like Fans' Forums, but you can never do enough. F1 doesn't do enough for the fans, it doesn't do enough to promote itself, but FOTA has contributed.

"There are people around who don't want FOTA to be here I am sure, and ultimately the people that count are the teams. So if the teams reach a decision that, for the time being, we don't need it, then great. We will go and do something different."

shares
comments
McLaren: Lewis Hamilton should be proud of his Korean Grand Prix performance
Previous article

McLaren: Lewis Hamilton should be proud of his Korean Grand Prix performance

Next article

Red Bull expects its rivals to come out fighting in 2012

Red Bull expects its rivals to come out fighting in 2012
The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023