Red Bull and Ferrari are to leave FOTA in February
The future of the Formula One Teams Association is in doubt, after both Ferrari and Red Bull Racing announced their departure from the group.
Disputes have arisen over the last few weeks regarding the future of the Resource Restriction Agreement (RRA), which has attempted to limit how teams spend their money in Formula 1.
However, the top 4 teams – Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari – have all been accused recently about overspending and breaking the RRA. The departure of two of the largest teams in the sport confirms that a deal has not been found, and F1 will have a brand new controversy to talk about over the winter.
It must be noted that a team must serve a 2-month notice before it is to leave the association, so Red Bull and Ferrari will technically leave the group in February, providing some time to try and find a solution to this issue.
Ferrari attempted to explain their reason for leaving:
"Ferrari has informed FOTA President Martin Whitmarsh that it is leaving the
organisation made up of the teams competing in the Formula 1 World Championship.
It was a difficult decision and a great deal of thought went into it. It was
taken reluctantly after analysing the current situation and the stalemate when
it came to debate on some issues that were at the core of why the association
was formed, indeed with Ferrari and Luca di Montezemolo as the main instigator
and promoter of ideas. It’s not by chance that the President of the Maranello
company held that same position and job title within FOTA up to the end of
Some of the major achievements of the association during these years, also
worked out in conjunction with the FIA, centred around cost reduction, which
was of significant benefit to everyone, the big teams and the small ones.
Ferrari was on the front line in this area, even before the birth of FOTA and
it intends to continue down this route to ensure the sustainability of the
sport in the long term. Now however, it is necessary to find some new impetus
to move it along because FOTA’s drive has run its course, despite the excellent
work of current President, Martin Whitmarsh in trying to reach agreement
between the various positions for the common good.
Ferrari will continue to work with the other teams to make the current RRA,
Resource Restriction Agreement, aimed at controlling costs, more effective and
efficient, modifying it to make it more stringent in key areas such as
aerodynamics, to rebalance some aspects such as testing and to expand it to
areas currently not covered such as engines.
Formula 1, like the rest of the world in fact, is currently going through a
delicate period. Ferrari wants to work with all parties for the future of a
sport that expresses the highest level of motor sport technology.
We must return to a situation where Formula 1 is really a test bed for
advanced technological research, the results of which can be transferred to
Granturismo cars. In addition, we must not forget that this sport must become
more user friendly and more accessible to the general public and furthermore,
it cannot be the only professional sport where it is practically impossible to
do any training: the number of days of testing must be increased so that the
drivers, especially the young ones who lack experience and the teams, can be
adequately prepared, as well as providing more opportunities for them to come
into contact with spectators and sponsors."
Autosport has stated that these top 4 teams are to meet privately to try to reach an agreement.
The last time FOTA was in such a crisis was 2009, when Williams and Force India were thrown out of the organisation, in the midst of the budget cap controversy.