Formula 1

F1 teams at risk as FOTA collapses

Whitmarsh (left) has been fired while Red Bull & Ferrari left in 2013 (©GettyImages)
Whitmarsh (left) has been fired while Red Bull & Ferrari left in 2013 (©GettyImages).

As most midfield teams struggle just to survive, it seems their only avenue to voice their views is nearing its death.

FOTA (Formula One Teams Association) has seen many guises but in recent years has been the only way for the smaller teams to have a say in how the sport is run.

But with some membership fees going unpaid and now seeing its Chairman Martin Whitmarsh deposed at McLaren, the Telegraph is reporting the group is close to collapse.

Vice Chairman Eric Boullier, who has moved in at McLaren following Whitmarsh's firing, is also believed to be stepping away from his duties with the group according to correspondent Daniel Johnson.

Last year several notable teams pulled out including both Red Bull teams and Ferrari amid disputes and it is believed those issues have also played a part in some teams decision not to pay fees for this year.

Indeed Deputy Team Principal at Force India Bob Fernley believes the exit of F1's two biggest names was the moment the group went into freefall.

"I don't think there's any question about that one," he admitted, "but we can't undo where we are today."

The end of FOTA could have major ramifications for the future of F1. The group really was the team's way of speaking with one voice when it came to negotiating with Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA.

Sadly the biggest casualties of FOTA's demise will be the smaller teams who's voice was hard enough to be heard amid the giants of Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes will now be virtually non-existent.

This also comes at a time when F1 is looking to re-implement a budget cap in 2015, without FOTA the chances of that occurring are also significantly scuppered and again it will only be the smaller teams who lose out.

Finally there is the potential for this to drive out some teams with Caterham's Tony Fernandes already frustrated with how the sport is run and those struggling to survive financially seeing little point in staying if hopes of change are shrinking.


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Formula 1

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