FOTA disbanded due to non-payment of fees by member teams

CRACKS

The Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) has been disbanded after members decided it was no longer needed as a representative body.

FOTA said in a statement the teams had “re-evaluated their requirements in the face of a changing political and commercial landscape in Formula One”.

General secretary Oliver Weingarten told Reuters there had been some financial issues with unpaid subscriptions and also warned the sport was facing “a crisis or two around the corner” without the association.

Formed in 2008, the organisation was intended to lend the teams a united voice in negotiations with commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone and the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA).

The early days of FOTA

The early days of FOTA

However the unity was broken in 2011 when champions Red Bull, Ferrari and Sauber left amid disagreements about cost-cutting. Only seven of the 11 teams were officially in FOTA last year.

The group was led by McLaren principal Martin Whitmarsh, who has lost control of that team since his predecessor Ron Dennis regained charge, and Lotus principal Eric Boullier who has now joined McLaren.

The top teams are now in an F1 strategy group set up under the terms of the new ‘Concorde Agreement’, the document which governs the sport, agreed with Ecclestone and the FIA. That group met on Friday.

FOTA’s disappearance may be missed most of all by regular fans, with the body organising popular forums ahead of some races with drivers and team officials answering questions from the public.

“The reaction from fans has been one of shock on coming to terms with the fact they may lose a point of contact for interacting with the sport through the fan forums,” said Weingarten. (Reuters)

  • karlich

    Guess those new rules must have cost the teams “hell’uv a lot” if they can’t afford membership fees :D

  • KevinW

    FOTA was made redundant when the Strategies Group was formed. It was also pretty much dead when Red Bull, Ferrari and Sauber bailed in 2011. It was just time to bury the expired FOTA’ing body found in the icy cold waters of modern F1 politics. To some degree, the failure of FOTA is the product of yet another of Whitings grand non-performances as an ineffective leader. (Yes, kicking a man while he is down, that’s how we roll.)

  • nowhereman

    Had to happen and it’s a good thing.
    Now, it’s time to re-evalutate the effectivness of the FIA (Fix It Again)…