F1 2009

It’s an appropriate time of year to discuss what’s gone on in 2008 – if you look at any site you’ll find some Year in Review type deal – but I want to focus on what’s to come rather than what’s been.

Most specifically, the interesting brouhaha brewing in Formula 1 between Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula One Teams Association – fronted by Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo – has really caught my attention.

Partly because it could have a large impact on the sport over the next year/years, but more importantly because I like a good ding-dong.

You can find out all that’s going on via Autosport’s site, but basically it involves Montezemolo wanting teams to get a bigger share of the revenue, and Ecclestone – not surprisingly – saying no they don’t, and anyway Ferrari get about $80million a year more anyway cos of their heritage deal so why doesn’t Luca shut the hell up?

All of FOTA seems to agree with Luca however, so Bernie looks like he’s going to have a bit of a fight on his hands. FOTA think – according to vice-chairman and Toyota team boss John Howett – that the money should be shared more in favour of the teams that take part, rather than ‘the property holder or the commercial rights-holder’ (that’ll mostly be Bernie).

So it’s going to be like a Christmas bust-up down the Queen Vic sooner or later, and it would seem Bernie’s a bit worried that FOTA are trying to take the power of running F1 off him, and that FOTA are flexing their muscles to show him that’s exactly what they’re up to.

Interestingly, FIA president Max Mosley has said that the teams have never been more united than they are now, so there’s certainly momentum there to get things done.

So we’ll see, but for you and me, it’s going to provide some good talking points.

Strangely Bernie came to power by running the Formula One Constructors Association…

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