FIA president Max Mosley has dismissed the threat of a breakaway championship as “posturing” by teams, and is confident a compromise settlement will be reached in time for the first race of 2010.
Following the bombshell announcement made by the eight members of the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) on Thursday night that they were commencing plans for a rival series, Mosley indicated on Friday at Silverstone that he is not too worried about the situation. He believes that eventually the teams will soften their stance, and he thinks it highly unlikely that they will be able to afford to set up a second F1 series.
“I don’t take it as seriously as some people do because I know that it is all posturing and posing,” Mosley explained in a lengthy interview with the BBC on Friday. “It will all stop sometime between the beginning of 2010 and March 2010, the first race. All this will stop, it will all settle down and everyone will go racing.”
When asked if he was totally sure there would be a solution that headed off the possibility of two championships, Mosley said: “Absolutely. I am completely confident because in the end people do what it is in their interests to do.
“It is in the interests of the teams to be in the F1 World Championship and there is actually no fundamental or important issue that is stopping them taking part. It is all about personalities and power and who can grab what from whom, which is easy when nothing is at stake – but when it gets to the first race and it is make-your-mind up time, they will be there.”
Despite the hard-line stance adopted by FOTA, Mosley believes that there is little chance of the breakaway reaching fruition – and said it was easy for teams to talk up their plans at this stage of the year.
“They can be very hard at the moment because it doesn’t actually come to anything until March 2010,” he explained. “So we are nine months away. Everybody can posture and pose, but we all know that when it gets to Melbourne 2010 there will be a F1 World Championship and everyone who can be in it will be in it.”
He added: “Always with these things there is a compromise, because they cannot afford not to run in the F1 World Championship, and we would be very reluctant to have a Formula 1 World Championship without them, and I am talking about the eight teams there.
“I think some of them will disappear, because some of the manufacturers will look at the amount of money being spent, the measures they are having to take within their companies, the people being laid off and accepting government money to keep going, and they are going to find it very difficult to keep pumping hundreds of millions into F1.
“I think we will lose one or two or maybe three manufacturer teams, so we will need new teams to make up the space. But the great traditional teams, and I would include Ferrari in that, they need to be there and they will be there for sure. It will get sorted out.”