FOTA objection to budget caps 'weak' - Mosley
(GMM) The first shots in what was previously a cold war have now been fired, with Max Mosley and the formula one teams on opposite sides of the front line.
At stake is the future of formula one, and the influence and control the stakeholders wield.
This week, the FIA - backed by F1's commercial executive Bernie Ecclestone - shook the teams with the unilateral ratification of controversial new rules.
The teams' so-far cohesive FOTA alliance hit back and won the battle over the scoring system shakeup, but the voluntary budget cap for small teams next year is not so easily handled.
A statement outlined the group's "disappointment and concern", but FIA president Mosley insists he has to act.
"It was a weak response," Mosley said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. "They knew we were considering a budget cap, but I don't think they expected us just to do it like that.
"The complaint was that we didn't consult them. Well, we've been talking a lot to Force India and Williams, both of whom were very supportive.
"I've not spoken recently to (Red Bull's) Mateschitz but I would have thought it might appeal to him too," Mosley added.
The 68-year-old makes clear his intention to move against what he believes is F1's unsustainable current model.
"All we've had from the teams so far is 'we've done a fantastic job, we've reduced costs by 50 per cent'. So what?
"It has come down from $300-400 million to $150-200 million. Well, that's admirable, but I'm dubious as to whether they will still have $150-200 million in 2010 and 2011," said Mosley.
Budget capping, affording teams more technical freedoms and a return to engineering innovation, is at the centre of Mosley's vision, although he concedes that the 33m euro cap for 2010 is "provisional".
"I actually think it could be done for 25 million (pounds) but that's just my opinion. All my advisers think it should be more.
"When people calm down a little bit they will see that all of this is brilliant for formula one. It won't hurt the DNA of the sport -- 30 million is still vastly more than any other series," he said.
Mosley knows he is not the toast of the FOTA meetings, but is still contemplating running for a fifth consecutive term as FIA president.
"The truth is if you had a vote among the F1 teams I wouldn't be at all confident (of winning). But F1 teams have never had a vote.
"Among the national sporting authorities there seems to be a very strong push for me to stay," he said.