Big politics are at play in Formula 1, amid the ongoing, high profile furore about ‘quiet’ V6 turbo engines and the urgent need to change rules, many suspect that Bernie Ecclestone is hard at work on what might well be his latest coup.
According to the respected correspondent for Auto Motor und Sport, Michael Schmidt, the Formula 1 Chief Executive is furious that the FIA won the battle to get V6 turbo engines on the F1 grid.
Ecclestone is reportedly now determined to win the war. FIA president Jean Todt declared very recently that a €150 million per team budget cap for 2015 was set to be imminently agreed.
“From all of my discussions,” said the Frenchman, “I conclude that the majority of the teams, the FIA and the rights owners do want this cost limitation.”
But is a very short space of time suddenly, everything has changed. Schmidt reports that the top teams in the new Formula 1 strategy group – Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes – counter-punched with a proposal of €260 million.
In effect, that would not be a budget cap at all. But Todt is now saying, “All six teams in the strategy group are suddenly against a budget cap.”
The other strategy group teams are McLaren, Williams and Lotus. It appears that Ecclestone may be moving to corner Todt and the FIA.
Initially a wild report, it now appears more and more plausible that Ecclestone is attempting a takeover coup that could leave Formula 1’s governing body completely in the cold.
Schmidt reports that Ecclestone is so serious that he is even prepared to drop the name Formula 1, which is owned by the FIA, in favour of GP1.
Devaluing the existing FIA-controlled Formula 1, by incessantly complaining about quiet engines and a dull, complicated, fuel-saving spectacle, suddenly makes sense.
Schmidt reports that Todt was informed about the strategy group’s newfound total opposition to a budget cap through a letter from none other than Ecclestone. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.