Luca di Montezemolo is delighted the row that threatened to split Formula One has ended with the teams getting their own way on pretty much every issue that had angered them.
Ferrari delighted with peace pact
Luca di Montezemolo is delighted the row that threatened to split Formula One has ended with the teams getting their own way on pretty much every issue that had angered them. The Ferrari president and Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) chairman made it abundantly clear, in light of a peace pact being brokered between the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and FOTA, as to whom he felt had won the war.
One apparent key factor was the confirmation that Max Mosley, after 16 years as the FIA president, has decided not to stand for re-election for a fifth term after Wednesday's agreement, which means there will now be no breakaway series. "The satisfaction is that all of our requests have been accepted," said Di Montezemolo. "To us, three things were most important: that F1 stay F1 and not become F3; that there is no dictator, but that there was a choice of rules, agreed and not imposed; and that whoever had a team was consulted and had a voice.
"Mosley has announced that in October he will stand down, with an irrevocable decision, and that from now on he won't get involved in F1. "Could Mosley change his mind? He can, yes, but we won't. What has been fundamental is the unity of the teams, of the manufacturers." He also took a swipe at the Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Mosley, who had both publically belittled FOTA during the row, saying: "Ecclestone said he fed FOTA's cards to his dogs; Mosley said he didn't know what FOTA was. It now seems to me both of them have something different to say.
"Now finally we have stability of the regulations until 2013, and I want to thank all our fans because the public had had enough of the changes." It was Ecclestone who was at the heart of the deal, appreciably so given he faced losing his £1.5bn (Dh7.67bn) per year empire with the formation of a rival series. With so much money on the line, Ecclestone effectively knocked the heads together of Mosley and Di Montezemolo during talks on Monday night and Tuesday ahead of a World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris.
"I'm obviously very, very happy common sense has prevailed which I've always believed it would because the alternative was not good at all," said Ecclestone. "I also must say I'm very, very, very happy the teams have come to their senses to stop spending large amounts of money." While FOTA have the governance change they demanded, there will be no budget cap for 2010 as the rules for this season will remain for next, and a new Concorde Agreement - the commercial document that governs the sport - will also come into effect.
From Mosley's perspective, he has the three new teams he wanted on the grid next year, with the trio to be given technical assistance from the current teams to aid their induction, and there will also be a reduction in spending. With four months to go before the end of his presidency, Mosley added: "My departure was planned, agreed, arranged. As far as I'm concerned, the teams were always going to get rid of me in October; well, they still are.
"All the staff have known for months, but obviously I couldn't say it publicly because the moment you do you lose all your influence. "Now I don't need influence, it's a satisfactory situation. I can have a peaceful summer for the first time in three years. "Whether the person who succeeds me will be more to their liking remains to be seen." The FIA Senate will now effectively take control until the new man steps in, with Jean Todt, the former executive director of Ferrari, the early favourite to be Mosley's replacement.
* PA Sport