Formula 1 Insight

Use it or Lose it says the Court

Well, the French court has said, "Non," to Ferrari's bid for an injunction on the FIA's rules for 2010. It is not quite as simple as that, however, as the decision agreed that the Italian team has a veto; the problem is that it was not used when the rules were published. Whether that means it is too late now to veto the rules is a moot point - it depends on the wording of the agreement which, of course, only the interested parties have seen. If I were Luca, I would give it a try anyway.

A sea of red - the tifosi

Predictably, the verdict has annoyed Ferrari somewhat and the team was somewhat dismissive when looking at the names of new teams lining up to enter F1. One can understand their disdain on reading the list:

Wirth Research, Lola, USF1, Epsilon Euskadi, RML, Formtech, Campos, iSport.

Wirth Research has nothing to do with Nick Wirth who was the man behind Simtek's brief appearance in F1 in the nineties - it is a research group that has done a lot of work in racing-related fields. It may be appropriate that their engineers should try their hand at the full product but one has to wonder where the funding would come from.

Lola and USF1 we know about, but Epsilon Euskadi is a Spanish racing team involved in the World Series by Renault and Le Mans until now. The owner, Joan Villadelprat, has an F1 background and a possible link with USF1 has been mentioned in the past. RML is Ray Mallock's racing group and has experience in many motor sports arenas, including Sports Cars, Touring Cars and Rallying. Formtech bought the Super Aguri assets and so at least has an old Arrows chassis and perhaps a duff Honda or two from which to start. Campos and iSport currently field GP2 entries.

Everyone has to start somewhere, I suppose, but I must admit that most of the names on the list seem very optimistic to me. USF1 has done enough to convince us of its intentions and was aiming at a much higher budget than Mosley's £40 million cap, so it could well put a car on the grid in Melbourne next year. Lola has tried so often before that they must surely know what they are getting themselves into. But the rest are making a huge jump and will struggle to build a car in time.

None of the new teams can hope to be sufficient recompense for losing Ferrari, Toyota, Red Bull and probably others from the entry list. At the very best, it would be several years before F1 could be taken seriously again. So Ferrari's gibe that the sport should be renamed GP3 is not far from the truth.

Naturally, the FIA has welcomed the court's decision and Mosley has replied to Ferrari's reaction with some insults of his own, suggesting that Maranello is putting its own interests above those of F1. It is hardly necessary to point out that it was Max who caused the whole furore by his high-handed introduction of the two-tier system and the budget cap; who then is endangering the future of the sport?

We should be grateful that the court phase of the battle is now over and all the parties are just going to have to sit down together to work out a solution. Max is not really known for making concessions and seems fairly adamant on the amount of the budget cap so Bernie will have to be pretty persuasive behind the scenes. No doubt everything will be settled in the end but it may take a bit longer than the legal proceedings.


Love the pic. I think it demonstrates that Ferrari fans are like no other team fans in the sport. Can you imagine a rabid fan group like the one shown getting behind BMW or Williams? Both are solid teams, but they don't have the panache, history, mystery or "magic vibe" of the team from Maranello. If Ferrari pulls out of the 2010 championship as threatened, it will be a huge disapointment to me and I'm sure tons of other (soon to be ex?) fans.
Date Added: 20/05/2009

No nation loves motor racing the way Italy does; even more than France, it is the spiritual birthplace of the sport. So it is no wonder that Ferrari has more passionate, devoted and expressive fans than any other team. It is the national team in a way that no other team could be.

F1 will be greatly impoverished if Ferrari leaves and nothing Max can say or do will change that. I am not saying that the FIA should just give Ferrari whatever they want (they have done enough of that in the past) but they should remember that it is not just the Italian team that objects to the regulations and the way they have been introduced.

If Ferrari goes, so will the other manufacturers, with the possible exception of Mercedes. Without those teams, F1 will not be a shadow of itself, it will cease to exist. Bernie cannot allow it to happen.
Date Added: 20/05/2009

The point Mosley must realize that hardly anybody would pay for the extreme highly priced tickets if this continues. I think that if the manufactors are out Mercedes will think twice... And if mercedes would go as well you would be left with Cosworth as a single engine provider and who´s waiting for that! Ireally hope they will come to there senses and mr E will have to work overtime to get this sorted out pronto!
Date Added: 20/05/2009

Agreed, K2san. Strange that we end up depending upon Bernie!
Date Added: 20/05/2009

Don and Clive,

You are so correct about the love Italy has for Ferrari and auto racing.

However, it is bigger then that. Italians all over the World share the same passion for Ferrari. That is why I have followed them and will always do so regardless of where they race and what series it may be in.

There can only be one Ferrari. They are gorgeous red cars with an unmistakable engine sound that is very Italian and very Ferrari.
Date Added: 20/05/2009

Nick Goodspeed
Once again, the game of good cop (Ecclestone), bad cop (Mosley) is manipulated into place. Why the heck don't the teams come out and say, "We're sick of Mosley. He's not to be trusted," and, if you want to cut costs, get the money back from Ecclestone.
IF Ferrari wins and deals are worked out it will only be a question of time before the situation becomes inequitable, so long as either of these two are about. Neither has any credibility left,and Ferrari are questionable.
The track owners are throwing up their hands, one by one. This won't change because Ferrari wins some points in a fixed game or in a court. By coming to a compromise with the FIA and / or Ecclestone all of what is Grand Prix racing will be falling into the "Peace in our time" trap that Chamberlain fell for.
Date Added: 22/05/2009

snip> Wirth Research has nothing to do with Nick Wirth who was the man behind Simtek's brief appearance in F1 in the nineties <

Wirth Research was set up and is run by exactly the same Nick Wirth of Simtek fame. So they have F1 experience as well.

Date Added: 26/05/2009

Martin: I thought the same until I had done a fair amount of digging on the net and found no mention of a connection between Nick and Wirth Research. For once, it seems the net has let me down. Thanks for the note, Martin, although seeing other blogs giving credit to Nick Wirth made me begin to doubt that I had dug deep enough anyway...
Date Added: 26/05/2009

You didn't try very hard did you ?
One look at told me that Wirth Research is owned by "Nicholas Wirth".......
Date Added: 28/05/2009

Trebor: I did actually, but missed the bit about Nick establishing the company. Hey, everyone makes mistakes sometimes.
Date Added: 28/05/2009

RSS feed icon RSS comments feed

Back to the main blog

Have your say

You may use some HTML in comments. For bold text use <strong></strong> and for italic text use <em></em>. If you know what you're doing feel free to use more complex mark-up but please no deprecated tags, break tags or JavaScript.

Enter the code shown above:

Name *

Comment *

Email *


Copyright disclaimers XHTML 1.0 CCS2 RSS feed Icon