Guest Author - Christine Blachford
Before the Italian Grand Prix, the members of the FOTA came together to sort out who they are and what they plan to do. The FOTA (Formula One Teams Association) came together earlier in the year as a response to Max Mosley’s request for the teams to come up with regulations for the future of the sport. In Monza, the group gathered together and signed off their Articles of Association.
They issued a statement that confirmed the overall aim of the association is to work with both the FIA and the Commercial Rights Holder (FOM) to reduce costs, increase revenue, and add entertainment value to the sport.
Having agreed on what the group is going to do, they then decided on who will lead the association in its new direction. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was appointed as the first official chairman of the FOTA. This wasn’t a surprise as the initial meeting regarding the group was held at Ferrari headquarters, and it seemed to make sense for Montezemolo to take the reins. Toyota president John Howett was given the role of vice-chairman.
To aid in future decision making, and coming up with the new regulations as required by the FIA, there were three separate sections of the group created.
Sporting Working Group – headed up by Martin Whitmarsh, current CEO of McLaren, to concentrate on the sporting regulations, enhance the spectacle of Formula 1, and keep F1 as the pinnacle of motorsport.
Technical Working Group – with Ross Brawn at the helm, current team principal of Honda, to create the technical regulations of the future, including development of KERS and greener initiatives.
Commercial Working Group – current Renault boss Flavio Briatore leads this section, to work closely with Bernie Ecclestone to increase revenues, and the share given to the teams.
Now that the group is organised and ready to go, I can’t wait to hear what they actually come up with. We’ve seen lots of Working Groups in the past, most recently one set up specifically to increase overtaking. They don’t always come up with anything, but a guaranteed working group with official members, and articles to adhere to, may have more incentive to find a result. At the moment, it appears working on the regulations with Mosley is at the top of everyone’s agenda, with KERS being the most prominent technology to be introduced next year.
The FOTA have certainly signed up an impressive line up, so hopefully they will be able to come up with some improvements that benefit the fans as well as the teams.