On dodgy ground

You remember at the end of last week all of the Formula 1 Teams’ Association (FOTA) members had signed up to race in F1 next year, and we breathed a sigh of relief? Well, it might not be quite that simple…

Pitpass.com is running a piece which describes how the entries that FOTA has lodged could quite easily be illegal – much like if you filled out your passport application form incorrectly, by writing outside of the little boxes.

The problem arises from FOTA members submitting their applications not only as a whole, but also with certain caveats.

The teams stipulated that they would only race next year – plus up to and including 2012 – if the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone put together a new Concorde Agreement, and that they race under this year’s rules.

Doing this, however, contravenes the rules governing how a team applies to the FIA to race.

Williams are in the clear, as are Ferrari, because they already have a contract with the FIA until 2012. But all the other teams are at risk from being denied entry.

If the remaining teams have either tampered with the form or not even signed it, then that is grounds for them having entered their information incorrectly, so they’ll have missed the entry deadline.

Or, if they’ve signed the entry form but submitted their conditions on a separate document, then they will be legally bound to the 2010 rules – including the budget cap

– and their demands could be ignored.

In the first two instances, FIA president Max Mosley might – if he so chooses – deny any team from racing next year.

In the latter, the teams would have to race by whatever rules the FIA decides.

Obviously, FOTA may have agreed everything with the FIA beforehand, but should the rules change, then all of the new teams that have applied – Prodrive, Superfund, Lola, Campos Meta1 and Team USF1 – will have had the goalposts moved on them.

And here we were thinking that it had all gone smoothly…

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