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Potential F1/FIA Split


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#1 TheFish

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 10:26

From Andrew Benson's article here - https://www.bbc.com/...rmula1/61367767

 

 

 

It's not just the drivers' noses that are being put out of joint by the FIA at the moment. Last month, Ben Sulayem refused to agree to plans to double the number of 'sprint' events next year to six.

 

The reason given publicly for this was that he wanted more time to study the impact of the plan on the FIA's race weekend resources.

 

Teams are briefing that in fact the reason is money - Ben Sulayem asked for more to be paid to the FIA in return for his agreement. Despite the fact that as the teams pay their entry fees based on the

number of points they earn, and the number of points for sprints has been increased this year, they would get more money for more sprint races anyway.

 

This has angered the teams and bosses of commercial rights holder F1, and it has added to a range of issues that are causing dissatisfaction with the FIA's actions in recent months.

Insiders have told BBC Sport that senior F1 figures are actively questioning whether they need the FIA involved in the sport, and are looking at ways in which they could be removed from being so.

 

Much of the FIA's income comes from F1, but it spends a relatively small amount of it on the highest level of the sport. In other words, the FIA needs F1 much more than F1 needs the FIA. Or so at least some senior figures are saying.

 

Could the FIA end up being removed from any effective role in the running of its blue-riband category and be relegated to a largely ceremonial function?

 

If so, it would be a seismic moment in the governance and history of F1. It may not get that far. But this, it is said by a number of sources, is not an issue that is going away any time soon.

 

 

I think it's most likely posturing and political power plays here, but is it actually feasible for F1 to leave the FIA if they continue to disagree?



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#2 LolaB0860

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 10:30

Round and round

 

https://www.motor1.c...ith-gp1-series/



#3 ANF

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 10:33

Round and round
 
https://www.motor1.c...ith-gp1-series/

Yeah. More on that here https://en.wikipedia...IA–FOTA_dispute

#4 PayasYouRace

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 10:35

The 2009 "split" had a lot more going for it, and yet the inside line from the teams was that it was never going to happen, and it never did.

 

Both sides know that splitting F1 from the FIA is in nobody's interest. F1 wouldn't be able to have the world presence it relies on without direct FIA governance, and the FIA would lose their premiere series.

 

Also, both sides have seen the damage such splits can do, be it IRL-CART, ALMS-Grand Am, etc.



#5 SenorSjon

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 10:37

So VAG will run again as a scared stag...

#6 HerbieMcQueen

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 10:37

From Andrew Benson's article here - https://www.bbc.com/...rmula1/61367767

 

 

 

I think it's most likely posturing and political power plays here, but is it actually feasible for F1 to leave the FIA if they continue to disagree?

 

I would tend to agree that it looks more like a negotiating tactic on a number of contentious points that each side has, but then again over the past few years F1 and FOM have done or suggested things that made my internal voice question "they wouldn't, would they?". Nothing stays the same in life so I suppose we must be prepared for schisms in the "natural" order of things. For better or worse (for some, the latter), F1 has increased it's bargaining power in recent times and can pose credible threats about self-administering themselves to all and sundry.

 

Anyway, I already have my head turned to a competitive, non FIA administered open wheel series in which you'll find me chugging Bud Light, welling up as the voice of Jim Nabors floats his fondness for home in the back of my head, and a stampede of 33 cars tangles my senses coming out of Turn 1.



#7 SophieB

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 10:38

The 2009 "split" had a lot more going for it, and yet the inside line from the teams was that it was never going to happen, and it never did.

 

Both sides know that splitting F1 from the FIA is in nobodies interest. F1 wouldn't be able to have the world presence it relies on without direct FIA governance, and the FIA would lose their premiere series.

 

Also, both sides have seen the damage such splits can do, be it IRL-CART, ALMS-Grand Am, etc.

I’m not saying this is wrong, but can you expand a bit on this? 



#8 Myrvold

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 10:40

So, whats the name?
Formula Money? Jewel Formula? Grand Prix Racing?

#9 LolaB0860

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 10:41

Also, both sides have seen the damage such splits can do, be it IRL-CART, ALMS-Grand Am, etc.

 

Yeah I think IndyCar is the greatest example possible.

 

The ALMS - Grand-Am split was a good thing though IMO... wish it had never merged


Edited by LolaB0860, 08 May 2022 - 10:44.


#10 PayasYouRace

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 10:43

I’m not saying this is wrong, but can you expand a bit on this? 

 

So my understanding is that without FIA approval, you can't show up at FIA approved circuits. No circuit wants to be seen operating outside the FIA, even if indirectly via their national governing body. So it would mean F1 would have to rely solely on new circuits happy to run outside FIA governance, which wouldn't be a lot, and they'd lose all their classic venues.

 

Many will point to various national series that aren't directly run by the FIA, such as Indycar. But those series still need to meet FIA criteria, even if they're doing it via their local governing body.

 

Where I'm lacking information is that there are no "world championships" that are run by a local governing body.



#11 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 10:51

Sulayems focus seems to be on exerting influence and extracting money at the moment. 250k fines for wearing a watch etc.

Where does all the money collected in fines fritter away to?

Was hoping he would come in and drive for improvements but he just seems to want to have a ‘respect my authority’ drive

#12 SophieB

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:05

So my understanding is that without FIA approval, you can't show up at FIA approved circuits. No circuit wants to be seen operating outside the FIA, even if indirectly via their national governing body. So it would mean F1 would have to rely solely on new circuits happy to run outside FIA governance, which wouldn't be a lot, and they'd lose all their classic venues.

 

Many will point to various national series that aren't directly run by the FIA, such as Indycar. But those series still need to meet FIA criteria, even if they're doing it via their local governing body.

 

Where I'm lacking information is that there are no "world championships" that are run by a local governing body.

Interesting. I suppose it would depend on the contracts. It would be an unusual one that didn’t have break points, but I get that it would be in the fia’s interests to fight it. But how much £££ do they really have to do that? They lost a fortune in the sale of rights to FOM.



#13 Hati

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:14

So my understanding is that without FIA approval, you can't show up at FIA approved circuits. No circuit wants to be seen operating outside the FIA, even if indirectly via their national governing body. So it would mean F1 would have to rely solely on new circuits happy to run outside FIA governance, which wouldn't be a lot, and they'd lose all their classic venues.

Wouldn't the circuits follow the money. How much of the income would a circuit lose if it couldn't host FIA events, only one F1 GP each year. (Assuming everyday usage would remain unchanged, only international events would be affected.)



#14 Myrvold

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:16

Wouldn't the circuits follow the money. How much of the income would a circuit lose if it couldn't host FIA events, only one F1 GP each year. (Assuming everyday usage would remain unchanged, only international events would be affected.)

 

Quite a lot. The vast majority of series being run (in Europe) are connected to the FIA. Of course trackdays etc. are not.



#15 Risil

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:17

So my understanding is that without FIA approval, you can't show up at FIA approved circuits. No circuit wants to be seen operating outside the FIA, even if indirectly via their national governing body. So it would mean F1 would have to rely solely on new circuits happy to run outside FIA governance, which wouldn't be a lot, and they'd lose all their classic venues.

 

Hmm. So let's say it comes to this, and Silverstone chooses to continue hosting the British Grand Prix under the independent F1 championship. The FIA counters with what, withholding BTCC and the British GT championship? That is not a nuclear-sized deterrent. And would Motorsport UK simply declare independence from the FIA in that case?

 

I think the FIA would look terrible, publicly. Very few people would understand the reason the FIA/Motorsport UK are boycotting Silverstone and it would look like simple greed. F1 is better funded, better at PR and they would paint the FIA in the worst possible light.



#16 PayasYouRace

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:17

Wouldn't the circuits follow the money. How much of the income would a circuit lose if it couldn't host FIA events, only one F1 GP each year. (Assuming everyday usage would remain unchanged, only international events would be affected.)

 

They'd lose their ability to hold all events, not just the one F1 GP each year.



#17 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:19

There will be no FIA/F1 split.



#18 SenorSjon

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:25

They'd lose their ability to hold all events, not just the one F1 GP each year.


Aren't numerous tracks in the US run that way?

#19 Risil

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:28

Fwiw I still think it would be a bad idea and very regrettable if Liberty gained the FIA's powers over F1. I don't think Liberty themselves are too bad but they'll only be around while it makes sense to their shareholders, and what you'd ultimately have is a situation where the rulemaking and governance of the world's biggest motor sport championship are literally for sale to the highest bidder.



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#20 TheFish

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:28

They'd lose their ability to hold all events, not just the one F1 GP each year.


How much money does BTCC/MotoGP etc bring in to Silverstone compared to the F1?

I’m sure F1/Liberty could lower hosting fees to some locations to get them to join them instead of the FIA.

For some places it would be easy for them to follow F1, street circuits especially. Others I guess would have a more difficult time.

None of this will happen anyway, MBS won’t want to be responsible for F1 leaving.

#21 Risil

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:30

The FIA doesn't sanction any motorcycle events, so MotoGP/WSBK/BSB etc wouldn't be affected by Silverstone's standing with the FIA.

 

Silverstone is run by a pretty conservative organization and I doubt they'd want to get involved in any sort of FIA/F1 battle, mind you.



#22 Fastcake

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:30

The FIA own F1, so as before any split in the relationship would involve a breakaway and a new series. Which if it involves FOM this time, would also result in the termination of their 100-year lease and severing of all existing contracts, which are all for Formula One, not some new series. You’ll have really fight to break the inertia to remove the FIA, which is why there might be fights but a split is impossible.

It is interesting though we’re finally seeing a split in the FIA/F1 relationship which has broadly been stable since the early Bernie and Max days. There were a few whispers right at the end of last year about the FIA finally confronting FOM overstepping the boundary by playing an active role in the regulatory and rule-making side of the sport, hence the upcoming departure of Ross Brawn and the transfer of the technical team to the FIA. It’s apparent now that Sulayem is willing to be far more involved in protecting the FIA’s turf than the generally absent Todt, and this is likely to be the first skirmish.

#23 Risil

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:33

Who is looking forward to 10 years time when the control of Formula E, now fast and spectacular and emissions-free, is used as a bargaining chip in some obscure political battle between F1 and the FIA.



#24 krapmeister

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:39

Fwiw I still think it would be a bad idea and very regrettable if Liberty gained the FIA's powers over F1. I don't think Liberty themselves are too bad but they'll only be around while it makes sense to their shareholders, and what you'd ultimately have is a situation where the rulemaking and governance of the world's biggest motor sport championship are literally for sale to the highest bidder.

 

Wouldn't there likely be issues with the EU again as well? I thought the whole splitting of the commercial rights off from the FIA to FOM was to comply with EU rules.

 

(though I suppose Liberty could get round this by moving the FOM company out of Europe?)



#25 Izzyeviel

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:50

****ing sprint races caused this kerfuffle?? sprint races? really?



#26 Massa

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:56

****ing sprint races caused this kerfuffle?? sprint races? really?



No it's money. As always.

#27 shure

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:59

The 2009 "split" had a lot more going for it, and yet the inside line from the teams was that it was never going to happen, and it never did.

 

Both sides know that splitting F1 from the FIA is in nobody's interest. F1 wouldn't be able to have the world presence it relies on without direct FIA governance, and the FIA would lose their premiere series.

 

Also, both sides have seen the damage such splits can do, be it IRL-CART, ALMS-Grand Am, etc.

This.  It's posturing, on the same lines as "team X considering their future in F1."  It would ultimately be hugely costly for both parties and I'd be hugely surprised if it was anything other than a poker game



#28 Myrvold

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 12:00

(though I suppose Liberty could get round this by moving the FOM company out of Europe?)

 

You need to follow EU rules to operate in Europe, and that might include having races there.



#29 Ruusperi

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 12:01

I'd rather have a breakaway series that doesn't have sprint races, DRS or any of those gimmicks, but treat F1 as a sport.



#30 shure

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 12:08

Sulayems focus seems to be on exerting influence and extracting money at the moment. 250k fines for wearing a watch etc.

Where does all the money collected in fines fritter away to?

Was hoping he would come in and drive for improvements but he just seems to want to have a ‘respect my authority’ drive

The flip side is he wouldn't have to if people didn't keep taking the piss out of the rules in the first place. Rules should either be enforced, or removed, but this halfway house of selectively choosing which rules are "worthy" of respecting doesn't really do anyone any good.  Because everyone has their own ideas on what constitutes a reasonable rule, and the whole point of having rules in the first place is to remove that ambiguity. If the rule is there, it should be respected.  It's strange to blame the lawmaker for doing his job



#31 pacificquay

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 12:22

I'd rather have a breakaway series that doesn't have sprint races, DRS or any of those gimmicks, but treat F1 as a sport.

A breakaway series wouldn’t do what you want then, given the threat of the breakaway is by the people that want all those things.



#32 FLB

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 12:22

I'm not surprised. There was an article in Autohebdo.fr recently where ben Sulayem says the FIA is basically financially unsustainable in its current form. There have been tensions from the mobility clubs for a long time because some are unhappy about the lack of transparency of the previous administration. This is why one of the first things ben Sulayem did was to order an independant audit, the results of which have been presented to the members.

 

Todt instigated programs to essentially turn the FIA into a mixture of the IATA and the IOC, notably by trying to get motorsports recognized at the Olympics. He created ties with the IOC that did not exist before him. The FIA also got involved in road safety issues that are mostly taken care of by national public organizations and governments. The FIA has grown to close to 500 employees and that's without counting various consultants.

 

All of it has been *very* expensive... and that's without counting the fact that last year the FIA was told that it would have to increase its payroll and take on board people who had been hired by FOM. F1 is not only a generator of revenue as Benson is saying, but also a generator of costs.

 

The mobility clubs are the ones who got ben Sulayem elected, notably the RAC. Motorsports are not part of their mandates.

 

 

What Benson isn't mentioning is that this is has been brewing for a while now and that a possible outcome could be a return to what existed pre-Mosley, i.e. the sporting and the mobility clubs existing in the same universe, but seperately (EX: FISA).


Edited by FLB, 08 May 2022 - 12:29.


#33 krapmeister

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 12:33

You need to follow EU rules to operate in Europe, and that might include having races there.

 

I would have thought that if they operated the series wholly in Europe then that would certainly be the case, but if the majority of the series is outside Europe then they might be ok?

 

Though I imagine the FIA would certainly be agitating for any action to be taken...



#34 Sterzo

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 12:33

Wouldn't there likely be issues with the EU again as well? I thought the whole splitting of the commercial rights off from the FIA to FOM was to comply with EU rules.

 

(though I suppose Liberty could get round this by moving the FOM company out of Europe?)

The problem the EU Commission identified was that a Vice President of the Governing Body (a certain Mr. Ecclestone) was making millions out of the commercial side. That's a clear conflict of interest anywhere, not just in Europe. The relevant commissioner was ousted as a result of a corruption scandal (rather ironically) and while the EU was in disarray, Mosley and Ecclestone came up with a witty idea that they'd have nothing to do with each other. Ecclestone would no longer be an FIA official but would buy the commercial rights from Mosley's FIA. The deal, 99 years' rights  for a piddly sum, woul'd probably have been thrown out by any court on "restraint of trade" grounds or probably on others too - it stank of corruption. However, there was no-one left in the EU Commission with any interest in the subject so they could carry on unchallenged.

 

EU trade policy would almost certainly support the FIA asserting its right to govern, while circuits (who suffer from the Ecclestone hosting-fee model) would surely love a return to FIA-only running F1. As for the sanctioning of other racing, that's done by national motor clubs, who are the members in the Federation, the F in FIA.


Edited by Sterzo, 08 May 2022 - 12:35.


#35 FLB

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 12:41

The problem the EU Commission identified was that a Vice President of the Governing Body (a certain Mr. Ecclestone) was making millions out of the commercial side. That's a clear conflict of interest anywhere, not just in Europe. The relevant commissioner was ousted as a result of a corruption scandal (rather ironically) and while the EU was in disarray, Mosley and Ecclestone came up with a witty idea that they'd have nothing to do with each other. Ecclestone would no longer be an FIA official but would buy the commercial rights from Mosley's FIA. The deal, 99 years' rights  for a piddly sum, woul'd probably have been thrown out by any court on "restraint of trade" grounds or probably on others too - it stank of corruption. However, there was no-one left in the EU Commission with any interest in the subject so they could carry on unchallenged.

 

EU trade policy would almost certainly support the FIA asserting its right to govern, while circuits (who suffer from the Ecclestone hosting-fee model) would surely love a return to FIA-only running F1. As for the sanctioning of other racing, that's done by national motor clubs, who are the members in the Federation, the F in FIA.

Yup.

 

And the teams and Liberty are trying to force something that is a sporting matter (the sprint races) when the agreement says sporting matters are the FIA's purview. Ross Brawn was even making comments post-Abu Dhabi as to how the FIA should manage race direction, which was essentially Liberty telling the FIA how to govern itself.

 

It's not FOTA, it's FISA vs. FOCA. We're back to the early 1980s in so many ways...


Edited by FLB, 08 May 2022 - 12:43.


#36 Stumpy29

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 12:48

If we learned anything from the SuperLeague fiasco is that fans will make a big fuzz and even go on the side of a corrupt governing body just to keep the traditional status quo. 



#37 JHSingo

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 13:34

Formula Toys Out The Pram all over again...



#38 juicy sushi

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 13:50

So, whats the name?
Formula Money? Jewel Formula? Grand Prix Racing?

Run the Jewels.

#39 PayasYouRace

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 15:04

The FIA doesn't sanction any motorcycle events, so MotoGP/WSBK/BSB etc wouldn't be affected by Silverstone's standing with the FIA.

 

Silverstone is run by a pretty conservative organization and I doubt they'd want to get involved in any sort of FIA/F1 battle, mind you.

 

Well yes. All my comments above apply to car racing.



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#40 loki

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 15:23

The 2009 "split" had a lot more going for it, and yet the inside line from the teams was that it was never going to happen, and it never did.

 

Both sides know that splitting F1 from the FIA is in nobody's interest. F1 wouldn't be able to have the world presence it relies on without direct FIA governance, and the FIA would lose their premiere series.

 

Also, both sides have seen the damage such splits can do, be it IRL-CART, ALMS-Grand Am, etc.

 

Leaving FIA sanction is akin to when Indycar left USAC sanction.  The entire series left intact. It was one of the best moves for the series in order to grow.  The CART/IRL split was different in that the teams and revenue were divided.

 

At this point the FIA adds little value to F1.  The hurdle in Europe is overcoming having the sanctioning body and commercial interests combined.



#41 loki

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 15:29

Wouldn't there likely be issues with the EU again as well? I thought the whole splitting of the commercial rights off from the FIA to FOM was to comply with EU rules.

 

(though I suppose Liberty could get round this by moving the FOM company out of Europe?)

 

 

You need to follow EU rules to operate in Europe, and that might include having races there.

 

The corporate domicile of FOM is in Colorado.  There is an operating company in the UK.  Nascar is able to promote and sanction races in Europe as was CART.  The issue is with how it’s done.  Other sports in the EU sanction and derive revenue.



#42 PlatenGlass

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 15:49

They'd lose their ability to hold all events, not just the one F1 GP each year.

Is there any way that the FIA can punish tracks for running a race from a rival series without looking like complete pr*cks? What would their justification be? There would be a massive backlash and I'm not sure they could get away with doing it. I mean, someone could just set up a rival organisation to the entire FIA.

#43 MKSixer

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 15:50

*Audi F1 Team knocks on the door of F1 in 2026:  "Hello!!  Anyone there"?

 

*F1:  "crickets"



#44 PayasYouRace

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 16:07

Leaving FIA sanction is akin to when Indycar left USAC sanction.  The entire series left intact. It was one of the best moves for the series in order to grow.  The CART/IRL split was different in that the teams and revenue were divided.

 

At this point the FIA adds little value to F1.  The hurdle in Europe is overcoming having the sanctioning body and commercial interests combined.

 

The fundamental difference between the two is that whether USAC, CART or any of the other governing bodies in the USA, they all have that FIA top cover which was needed to expand the series internationally.

 

That's not the case here. Whoever would sanction a breakaway F1 series, (something like the SRO does)  they'd still be running under FIA top cover. Fine if that's all that a split would mean, but if people want a total split from the FIA, then they're on a hiding to nothing.



#45 loki

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 17:33

The fundamental difference between the two is that whether USAC, CART or any of the other governing bodies in the USA, they all have that FIA top cover which was needed to expand the series internationally.

 

That's not the case here. Whoever would sanction a breakaway F1 series, (something like the SRO does)  they'd still be running under FIA top cover. Fine if that's all that a split would mean, but if people want a total split from the FIA, then they're on a hiding to nothing.

The US sanctions are members of ACCUS but generally don’t otherwise follow FIA dictates.  In fact for the longest time Nascar while an ACCUS member did not recognize FIA safety grades.  They required Snell and SFI.  A US sanction called Liberty International Auto Racing ( or LIAR if you will) could join ACCUS and have those same benefits. The FIA is a dated relic that is no longer relevant in motorsports today.  If F1 split off the FIA would lose what leverage they have and likely collapse or at least become functionally irrelevant.  That said I don’t see them splitting though I do see FOM being able to bend the FIA to their will should push come to shove.  If Malone wants something bad enough Maffei will make sure it happens.  That’s how those guys roll.



#46 jals

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Posted 09 May 2022 - 15:48

But the Concorde Agreement runs out in 2025,it will be hard to split before that

Edited by jals, 09 May 2022 - 16:05.


#47 Stephane

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Posted 09 May 2022 - 16:12

Not this again.....

#48 Gareth

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Posted 09 May 2022 - 16:19

So my understanding is that without FIA approval, you can't show up at FIA approved circuits.

What would be the justification for that?

 

Seems to be effectively blackmail to secure a monopoly position, absent a substantive rationale for it. I can't think of that rationale, but imagine I'm missing something obvious?



#49 Primo

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Posted 09 May 2022 - 17:06

One thing that almost always holds true is that regardless how bad it is for the many, it will be good for the few. A split between F1 and the FIA will open up many possibilities for anyone with plenty of resources. I don't believe that the threat of breakaway is sprung solely from disagreeing about the sprint races, that is more likely just the tip of an iceberg. If there is an iceberg, it will keep moving, new tips will appear. If not, this story is gone tomorrow.



#50 taran

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Posted 10 May 2022 - 09:31

 

At this point the FIA adds little value to F1.  The hurdle in Europe is overcoming having the sanctioning body and commercial interests combined.

 

F1 is literally the FIA's property. And it is valuable beyond belief. Any breakaway series instantly loses the right to use F1 and with it, instant brand recognition and a motoring legacy going back to 1950, if not longer with the pre-war era although that technically wasn't F1.

 

Now it is obviously not impossible to set up a rival racing series and train the necessary officials to oversee the entire operation but that takes time and money. Never underestimate the embedded knowledge in any organisation. And will sponsors still want to be part of the new show?

 

Everyone knows what it means to sponsor an F1 team. Will paying $30m have the same cachet when you sponsor a team in the World Circuit Grand Prix Global Racing Series by Shadycoin.com?

 

And do we really believe the teams will play nice together? IMO, it will a matter of the inmates running the asylum except that inmates have a level of common sense that team principals lack....