Wheels24

Fota on verge of collapse

2011-12-06 08:38

Red Bull quit the Formula One Teams' Association because it had ceased to have good purpose.

That's the opinion of F1 team consultant Helmut Marko aftger Red Bull and Ferrari confirmed they had pulled out of the Geneva-based body.

Formed amid the political war with former FIA president Max Mosley, the alliance gave the teams a strong negotiating position as well as a platform to reduce costs with the gentleman's "resource restriction agreement".

It's the RRA that caused the tension, with Ferrari struggling recently despite having F1's biggest annual budget, and Red Bull accused of breaching the spirit of the cost-cutting rules.

Marko said: "Fota fulfilled its purpose in the crisis period - there was a reduction in costs - but as far as achievements there was nothing else. If at the meetings we cannot agree even to the lowest common denominator, one wonders what is the point of all the effort,."

NO PURPOSE

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said: "In the last 12 months Fota's purpose hasn't been clear."

Some believe the split has given Red Bull and Ferrari powerful individual positions to negotiate lucrative deals with Bernie Ecclestone under the next Concorde Agreement. Others worry that F1 teams will now return to the unsustainable financial arms races of the past.

Horner said: "We have decided to withdraw and now we will see how it develops."

For the moment, the divide has F1's biggest spenders Red Bull and Ferrari on one side and powerful competitors, including McLaren and Mercedes, on the other.

Mercedes' racing chief Norbert Haug said: "I think it is absolutely vital that Fota exists."

France's autohebdo.fr reports that the remaining Fota members will meet for talks.

Mercedes chief executive Nick Fry said: "We've certainly hit a bump in the road but I believe that work will continue in the background to try to resolve this and we will do whatever we can to support that."

GMM