A deal has been struck that will prevent the breakaway of eight Formula One teams to form a new series, according to a FIA statement following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris this morning.
It states that all currently competing teams have committed to the FIA Formula One World Championship and says there will be no alternative series or championship – and confirms the decision of the organisation’s president Max Mosley not to seek another term of office.
And the F1 Commission, a body active from 2008 and set up to represent teams’ interests, will now have more of a say in how the sport is governed. FOTA is now scheduled to officially call off its breakaway series tomorrow.
The FIA statement goes on to say that the rules for 2010 onwards will be based on the existing 2009 regulations with further regulations agreed prior to 29 April 2009.
On the subject of cost cuts, it says: “As part of this agreement, the teams will, within two years, reduce the costs of competing in the championship to the level of the early 1990s.
“The manufacturer teams have agreed to assist the new entries for 2010 by providing technical assistance.
“The manufacturer teams have further agreed to the permanent and continuing role of the FIA as the sport’s governing body.
“They have also committed to the commercial arrangements for the FIA Formula One World Championship until 2012 and have agreed to renegotiate and extend this contract before the end of that period.”
It concludes by cofirming that all teams will adhere to an upgraded version of the governance provisions of the 1998 Concorde Agreement.
Confirmed unconditional entrants are Ferrari, McLaren, BMW Sauber, Renault, Toyota, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Red Bull Racing, Williams, Force India, Brawn GP, Campos, Manor and Team USF1.
Its final lines are the ones that carry the most significance: “In view of this new agreement and with the prospect of a stable future for Formula One, FIA President Max Mosley has confirmed his decision not to stand for re-election in October this year.”
Immediately after the meeting, Mosley said: “I will not be up for re-election now we have peace.
“There will be no split. We have agreed to a reduction of costs. There will be one F1 championship but the objective is to get back to the spending levels of the early 90s within two years.”
An official statement released on the Ferrari website three hours after the meeting concluded, claims victory with the headline ‘World Council accepts FOTA’s proposals.’
It reads: “Today the FIA World Council accepted the proposals formulated by FOTA for the 2010 Formula 1 Championship.
“A Championship, which will [be] held, as required by FOTA, in the spirit of sport and technological competition, with clear and certain rules and a transparent governance, handed over to the F1 Commission.
“The objective is to avoid continuous changes decided by one person alone and to gradually reduce costs, to get back to early 90s spending levels within the next two years.
“The FOTA teams constantly promoted these objectives in the interest of motorsport and all its protagonists, starting with the fans.”
Toyota team boss John Howett added: “I am pleased that FOTA’s proposals have been endorsed and approved by the WMSC today. This will ensure that we move forward on the basis of stable, proper governance and this will ensure an outcome which is very good news for all of F1’s many stakeholders.
“This has been a challenging period but thanks to the unity of the FOTA teams and the foresight of the World Motor Sport Council members, we have achieved the right result for F1.
“We look forward to working with the FIA Senate to achieve a prosperous and exciting future for F1 and its millions of fans around the world.”
According to Autosport, FOTA is due meet tomorrow in Bologna to finalise the framework for the cost reduction regulations that will be introduced in 2010.
F1 commentator James Allen says of the development: “[Mosley] is afforded a dignified exit in October, having secured what he was looking for, which is lower costs, new teams in the sport and a commitment of sorts from the manufacturers to stay in.”
Ecclestone is reported by the BBC to have said he is “very happy common sense has prevailed”.
• In a separate development, Hockenheim City Council has said it will no longer continue to fund a Grand Prix at the circuit – although it has said it is open to negotiations if Ecclestone lowers the price.
This throws doubt on the future of the entire German Grand Prix, as the Nurburgring is already expressing concerns about the prospect of bearing the entire cost, rather than alternating with Hockenheim.
Hockenheim is not a particularly historical F1 circuit, having hosted the German Grand Prix for the first time in 1970, but is popular with fans and drivers alike for its outstanding stadium complex section.