After Lie-gate and Diffuser-gate comes We’re-not-racing-in-a-two-tier-F1-gate, as a number of teams have started ganging up on the FIA with big dirty threats of quitting the show next season.
It began with Ferrari’s warning (which locked them into that tussle with Max Mosley) and now Toyota and both the Red Bull teams are making noises about doing a bunk should the proposed two sets of regulations stay put.
Worse than that, squillionaire Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz has also hinted that all of the manufacturer teams will follow suit.
It started kicking off when the big F1 budget cap rules were announced the other week – those who sign up for the capped fee will be afforded greater technical freedoms than those who don’t, effectively chopping the grid into two classes.
Bernie Ecclestone must be doing his Andy Warhol-like head in at the moment. There’s no way he wants to see an F1 grid with only a handful of teams lining up at the beginning of next season.
But this furore is playing into Mosley’s hands – he’s a master of subterfuge. I reckon he’ll step up and say, ‘alright lads, calm down. All you have to do is sign-up to this ‘ere budget cap, and we’ll give you all one set of technical regulations. See? Easy.’
They’ll set it at say £100m next year, then lower it by £10m a year until it reaches a more manageable £60m come 2014. An idea that initially might have been difficult to sell, but in light of the current dissatisfaction would now look like a kebab to a drunkard.
Max gets the budget cap he wants, Bernie keeps all the players in the game – plus some new ones – and the teams all get a level playing field to bat about on.
Even the fans?