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F1 Breakaway Is Go!

June 19, 2009

It is actually going to happen!

Everyone should be opening champagne to celebrate this monumental occasion.

In an historic decision Thusday night, the teams that comprise FOTA ( Ferrari, McLaren, Toyota, Red Bull, Torro Rosso, Renault, BMW and Brawn GP ), unanimously agreed to leave F1 and start their own breakaway series.

Never in my wildest dreams did I envision the breakaway was going to become a reality but the reality of it is that people are sick and tired of the politics that have dogged the sport for decades and that includes not just the millions of people that watch the sport worldwide but quite obviously the teams as well.

Anyone worth his F1 salt will know that the puppetmaster FIA and Formula 1 itself was only ever an organization that was ruled by one megalomanical S&M tyrant along with one ringmaster extortionist extraordinaire.

Now, finally, after years of bitter politiking, the sport can resume its natural course where technological innovation is combined with razor sharp drivers to produce a heady mix of television ecstasy. If FOTA can produce even 1/10th of the magic of the 80’s and 90’s then we are all going to be in for a massive treat.

Now that the ringmaster and the whipping boy are toast, the FIA and FOM are left with a bunch of half-baked F3 and GP2 teams with no brand drivers along with a couple of disappointingly mutinous F1 teams that decided FOTA and the new series wasn’t where the grass was going to be greener.

Sadly, Williams is one of them. Force India the other. Both cited contractual obligations and after reading the statements from both teams, one can see the points being addressed and both teams appear to have valid and logical reasons to jump the FOTA ship. Nevertheless, its such a shame to see the big Williams branch absent from the FOTA tree.

Speaking of teams, it struck me as odd that the famous Lola had decided to withdraw its application for the 2010 FIA championship just a couple of days prior to the announcement by FOTA of the breakaway series. It seemed to me at the time that perhaps this was a preemptive move to join FOTA and the new series and this seems to be playing out as I thought it would. Good to see them back in the frame. Two other teams including Dave Richards Prodrive outfit were also left out in the cold by the FIA when the 2010 grid was being chosen and it is likely that we will be hearing more from them in relation to the new series in days, weeks and months to come.

Some incisive commentary from the always informative Martin Brundle

One team who the FIA may attempt to draw and quarter is Ferrari, who the FIA claims has a contract in place that binds the Italian team to the FIA and FOM until 2012. Ferrari on the other hand has stated that the FIA has breached this contract and as such, believe they are no longer legally bound to do anything the FIA tells them to do.

Whatever is the case here, we will undoubtedly be seeing a colossal legal battle take place as Ferrari attempts to wrestle free from the FIA’s grasp. Bernie Ecclestone has also been quoted as saying that if a breakaway were to happen, he would sue for hundreds of millions.

And as posted here on Joe Sawards blog ( Joe is a regular on Grandprix.com ), it seems the FIA legal juggernaut has just fired up its engines…

Regardless of the outcome, this is a day to remember. The 18th of June, 2009 will be remembered for years and years to come as the day the teams that make the sport what it is, decided to stand up, be counted and tell Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone where to shove their series and their tyrannical governance.

This is a collosal development in the sport and one to surely send shockwave after shockwave of attack and counter attack as the teams and the FIA and FOM slug it out to see whats is what and who is who. It will be more a battle of personality than prudence and egos are bound to be shattered.

Breakaway.

Has such a lovely ring to it, wouldn’t you agree?

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