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Telegraph: FOTA on brink of collapse


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#1 SophieB

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 16:00

The Telegraph: The Formula One Teams’ Association is on the verge of collapse, The Telegraph has learnt, as it faces unpaid subscription fees, deadlock among the 11 teams about its purpose, and the loss of its chairman and principal cheerleader.

 

Not good news. The gist of the piece seems to be that  Martin Whitmarsh's ousting and Eric Boullier's move to McLaren are likely to be the last straw.
 

It is understood a new draft mandate has been sent out to the teams, but agreement is not thought to be likely.

 

 



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#2 BullHead

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 16:02

There's no point to it anyway because what Bernie says always goes no matter what.

#3 dau

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 16:03

Now that comes as a surprise. I wasn't aware FOTA still exists.



#4 Andrew Hope

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 16:05

I thought the title meant they were so broke they had to telegraph this news.



#5 Lazy

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 16:07

Makes you wonder why MW really lost his job. Probably the most intelligent and forward thinking man in the paddock and a real threat to Bernie. F1 in general may rue the day.



#6 SophieB

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 16:07

There's no point to it anyway because what Bernie says always goes no matter what.

 

Well yeah because the teams still reject the concept of collective bargaining. If they actually worked together instead of greedily pursuing their own short term selfish interests, what Bernie wanted would be entirely irrelevant. But here we are.



#7 Lazy

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 16:13

Exactly



#8 pdac

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 16:14

Well yeah because the teams still reject the concept of collective bargaining. If they actually worked together instead of greedily pursuing their own short term selfish interests, what Bernie wanted would be entirely irrelevant. But here we are.

 

In a nutshell.

 

They are all greedy and selfish and that's exactly why Bernie always wins.



#9 Lazy

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 16:14

I wonder what Horner was promised to make RB leave FOTA.



#10 BullHead

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 16:16

Well yeah because the teams still reject the concept of collective bargaining. If they actually worked together instead of greedily pursuing their own short term selfish interests, what Bernie wanted would be entirely irrelevant. But here we are.


Indeed. 2009 was the last time the teams made a (almost) collective stand on anything and bared teeth so to speak. IMO that was over far less grave issues than what is faced with now.

#11 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 16:17

Has FOTA done anything since 2009ish when we had the breakaway and then resolution? Fan forums and surveys don't count. Seems like they've been inactive for a season or two now.



#12 redreni

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 16:18

Makes you wonder why MW really lost his job. Probably the most intelligent and forward thinking man in the paddock and a real threat to Bernie. F1 in general may rue the day.


Probably because he was doing things he wasn't being paid to do, like helping to unite the teams into a group that would have to be taken somewhat seriously by the commercial rights holder, while failing to do enough of what he wss being paid to do, namely make Mclaren win

#13 Slackbladder

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 16:21

No surprise. The teams are utterly only motivated by their own self interest than in the greater good of the sport of a whole.

#14 jjcale

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 17:13

Makes you wonder why MW really lost his job. Probably the most intelligent and forward thinking man in the paddock and a real threat to Bernie. F1 in general may rue the day.

 

When you say MW, you mean Martin Whitmarsh, right? .... and not some other MW who might actually be able to at least run a team competently.... let alone the whole of F1. 



#15 dau

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 17:16

Has FOTA done anything since 2009ish when we had the breakaway and then resolution? Fan forums and surveys don't count. Seems like they've been inactive for a season or two now.

Does losing members count?



#16 Fastcake

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 17:18

Yeah I had thought they were already quietly winding it up. Hardly news.

 

Indeed. 2009 was the last time the teams made a (almost) collective stand on anything and bared teeth so to speak. IMO that was over far less grave issues than what is faced with now.

 

What "grave issues" are we currently facing? There's hardly anything close to the argument over the future of the sport we had in 2009.



#17 BullHead

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 17:29

Well, seriousness of issues can be largely down to opinion, but the lack of stance over the double points fiasco is what I am mainly thinking of. Words to the effect of '"Bernie is too powerful to upset" coming out from team people is ridiculous. Not wanting to go off topic but the double points thing to me is really grave.

Edited by BullHead, 15 February 2014 - 17:30.


#18 Risil

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 17:34

Surely the prospect of Bernie leaving the sport this year is a powerful incentive for Red Bull and Ferrari to get back involved? Maybe that's what the article's angling towards.



#19 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 17:37

You won't need a union with a Bernie replacement. You'll hope he's not as good and you can negotiate individually. These people only group together when there's strength in numbers and it's required.



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#20 Lazy

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 17:43

When you say MW, you mean Martin Whitmarsh, right? .... and not some other MW who might actually be able to at least run a team competently.... let alone the whole of F1. 

I would dispute that but it's the wrong thread.



#21 dau

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 17:48

Yeah I had thought they were already quietly winding it up. Hardly news.

 

 

What "grave issues" are we currently facing? There's hardly anything close to the argument over the future of the sport we had in 2009.

The usual ones, of course. Money, governance, you name it. Midfield teams are struggling to survive and the new rulemaking process via the Strategy Group will only involve six teams, only one of which will be determined by results. We have new engines prompting additional problems, potentially more races than ever before in the near future, new regulations meeting strong opposition among the fans and what seems to be a lack of vision for the sport. Looming on the horizon is a potential change of ownership of F1 and Bernie's abdication one way or the other.

 

There are lots of things teams could and should be talking about to find common ground and something like FOTA would have been helpful for that, i guess.



#22 P123

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 18:05

I wonder what Horner was promised to make RB leave FOTA.


A weekend at Bernie's.

#23 pup

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 18:10

You guys are ignoring the last two Concorde Agreements, which were huge wins for the teams.  The teams now get the lion's share of FOM's income, which is rumored to be as high as 70% under the new terms.  FOTA was instrumental in both those agreements, even though obviously they were unable to prevent individual teams, particularly Ferrari and Red Bull, from negotiating around FOTA or blocking their agenda.  The result is a very lopsided distribution of FOM funds towards the teams who need it the least, with little to no movement on cost cutting measures.  So it's no wonder if midsize and small teams feel that the group has been ineffective.

 

But talk of disbandment now, with the ink still wet on the current Concorde and the next round of negotiations not starting for another five years or so, seems more posturing than anything else.  The small teams may not feel as if the group has done enough for them - but they are also well aware that without the group, they have practically no say at all.


Edited by pup, 15 February 2014 - 19:39.


#24 redreni

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 20:48

You guys are ignoring the last two Concorde Agreements, which were huge wins for the teams.  The teams now get the lion's share of FOM's income, which is rumored to be as high as 70% under the new terms.  FOTA was instrumental in both those agreements, even though obviously they were unable to prevent individual teams, particularly Ferrari and Red Bull, from negotiating around FOTA or blocking their agenda.  The result is a very lopsided distribution of FOM funds towards the teams who need it the least, with little to no movement on cost cutting measures.  So it's no wonder if midsize and small teams feel that the group has been ineffective.

 

But talk of disbandment now, with the ink still wet on the current Concorde and the next round of negotiations not starting for another five years or so, seems more posturing than anything else.  The small teams may not feel as if the group has done enough for them - but they are also well aware that without the group, they have practically no say at all.

 

I suspect the boards of Mercedes, Renault, Honda etc would have been unlikely to sign off on the massive investment needed for the new engines if there hadn't been some movement on the teams' share of the revenues, which was at a scandalously low level before. And anyway, the increase in the aggregate amount the teams get is mainly down to Bernie buying off Red Bull and Ferrari and getting them to accept favourable terms if they abandonned the idea of collective bargaining through FOTA. It's the equivalent of a factory owner offering higher pay to individual workers if they leave the trade union - yes the paybill will go up in the short term to pay for the wage increases, but the factory owner will be able to more than make his money back over time because the workers' negotiating position is weakened considerably if they no longer have a union that is capable, if necessary, of organising viable industrial action.

 

In my view FOTA can only take credit for increasing team revenues if they are negotiating on behalf of the teams. As far as I understand it, though, that system has died on its arse and Bernie is back to offering (or in one case, not offering) commercial terms on a team-by-team basis again, which is a total failure for FOTA whatever way you slice it.



#25 stanga

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 22:16

I wonder what Horner was promised to make RB leave FOTA.


Probably a third cock. He swaggers around like a dog with two cocks already.

#26 dau

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 11:24

You guys are ignoring the last two Concorde Agreements, which were huge wins for the teams.  The teams now get the lion's share of FOM's income, which is rumored to be as high as 70% under the new terms.  FOTA was instrumental in both those agreements, even though obviously they were unable to prevent individual teams, particularly Ferrari and Red Bull, from negotiating around FOTA or blocking their agenda.  The result is a very lopsided distribution of FOM funds towards the teams who need it the least, with little to no movement on cost cutting measures.  So it's no wonder if midsize and small teams feel that the group has been ineffective.

 

But talk of disbandment now, with the ink still wet on the current Concorde and the next round of negotiations not starting for another five years or so, seems more posturing than anything else.  The small teams may not feel as if the group has done enough for them - but they are also well aware that without the group, they have practically no say at all.

The teams negotiate their CA deals individually, not via FOTA. I'm not sure how much of an impact FOTA had on the CA negotiations regarding the teams' share this time, as the most powerful teams had already left when the old CA ran out.

 

And we don't really know details of the current CA anyway, especially not about the team's share of FOM income. Numbers i read ranged from 60 to 70%, but i find the latter quite unlikely considering that that was the number thrown about by the teams as their target for years. I'd expect something more closer to 60%, but anyway, the question is where this money is going. We know that certain teams will be receiving special payments for their importance in the sport starting this year. These bonuses alone add up to more than $200m according to AMuS, so how much of the additional income is actually left for anyone but those 5 teams? Incidentally, it is those same 5 teams that will have the 5 permanent seats in the new Strategy Group, so for them, the new deal is obviously a good one - but for the rest? As usual, the majority of teams had no choice other than sign whatever deal they were offered in the end. In this respect, i find it a bit hard to get excited for FOTA.


Edited by dau, 16 February 2014 - 11:26.


#27 SenorSjon

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 13:44

You guys are ignoring the last two Concorde Agreements, which were huge wins for the teams.  The teams now get the lion's share of FOM's income, which is rumored to be as high as 70% under the new terms.  FOTA was instrumental in both those agreements, even though obviously they were unable to prevent individual teams, particularly Ferrari and Red Bull, from negotiating around FOTA or blocking their agenda.  The result is a very lopsided distribution of FOM funds towards the teams who need it the least, with little to no movement on cost cutting measures.  So it's no wonder if midsize and small teams feel that the group has been ineffective.

 

But talk of disbandment now, with the ink still wet on the current Concorde and the next round of negotiations not starting for another five years or so, seems more posturing than anything else.  The small teams may not feel as if the group has done enough for them - but they are also well aware that without the group, they have practically no say at all.

 

That is a mob loan with 30% interest... Still a good deal?

 

CVC is draining F1 of it's cash and it is becoming unsustainable. FOTA is nigh on invisible. The teams are far from united, and they never will be.



#28 Longtimefan

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 13:48

No surprise. The teams are utterly only motivated by their own self interest than in the greater good of the sport of a whole.

I agree with this ^^



#29 Disgrace

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 20:23

The demise of FOTA by Nigel Roebuck.



#30 Maustinsj

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 20:43

 

Very interesting - thanks for linking that  :up:



#31 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 22:26

The front row says a lot

 

FOTA-2.jpg



#32 oetzi

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 23:57

The faces of the three who have some skin in the game and miles under their belt are interesting.



#33 Fastcake

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 00:25

Interesting to think three at the front would be gone within the year. I've always wondered during the height of the FOTA fight, if some of them already knew their teams were already leaving the sport.

 

Just compare the figures at the front of F1 just five years ago to those there now (clearer shot here). Add in Max and Bernie, and only half of them are still around today. (Though I'm not actually sure who the guy behind Briatore is. Anyone know?) In another five years who will be left? Will Bernie hang on, is Mallya still going to be sticking around, will Domenicali have followed Whitmarsh? You could even question if Red Bull will still be funding two teams, and if a new owner would want to keep Horner aboard.

 

There is a good chance that Ron Dennis could outlast them all.


Edited by Fastcake, 26 February 2014 - 00:26.


#34 oetzi

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 00:32

Interesting to think three at the front would be gone within the year. I've always wondered during the height of the FOTA fight, if some of them already knew their teams were already leaving the sport.

 

Just compare the figures at the front of F1 just five years ago to those there now (clearer shot here). Add in Max and Bernie, and only half of them are still around today. (Though I'm not actually sure who the guy behind Briatore is. Anyone know?) In another five years who will be left? Will Bernie hang on, is Mallya still going to be sticking around, will Domenicali have followed Whitmarsh? You could even question if Red Bull will still be funding two teams, and if a new owner would want to keep Horner aboard.

 

There is a good chance that Ron Dennis could outlast them all.

Until your last line I was with you.

 

Luca will be there when worms have eaten Ron.

 

Still denying he wants to run Italy.



#35 SophieB

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 10:13

@danielt_johnson4 mins

As I understand it, F1 teams association (FOTA) will close today. Financial constraints and inability to bring non-teams back in the cause.



#36 Mox

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:09

Now confirmed by Autosport

http://www.autosport...t.php/id/112702



#37 Ellios

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:19

Taxi for FOTA!



#38 BRG

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:19

At least this will cheer up Bernie in the midst of all his problems.

 

Frankly, the teams deserve to get shafted by FOM/CVC/BCE if they can't organise themselves.  I hope each team will remember that as it has to close its doors and sell off its assets.



#39 Szoelloe

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:33

 

???????? FOTA was an empty acronym from the moment Ferrari and Red Bull fled to evade the RRA in 2012. This is a mere formality. There were some futile attempts by Merc(Brawn) and McLaren to revive it, but Whitmarsh is gone, Ross Brawn is gone, the smaller teams are featherweight even together. 

 

So they called it:

 

Time of death: 2014.02.28 XX:XX:XX

 

Now that comes as a surprise. I wasn't aware FOTA still exists.

 

This.