Date: 2nd March 2012 at 9:38am
Written by:

Lotus boss and FOTA’s vice-chairman Eric Boullier still believes that FOTA has a role to play, although that role may have to change over time.

During the winter Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Toro Rosso and Sauber all announced that they were leaving the group, throwing FOTA into limbo.

Until then the alliance between all the teams in Formula One [excluding HRT who resigned in 2010] had remained, but the argument over the Resource Restriction Agreement (RRA) appeared to be the straw that broke the camels back.

The RRA is crucial to the idea that Formula One teams are cutting costs, basically giving teams a budget to work towards over the course of a F1 season.

But towards the end of the 2011 Formula One season, some teams were doubting whether their rivals were actually sticking to this agreement and were possibly spending more than other teams. If that was the case then they undoubtedly would gain a performance boost, which would be against the spirit of competition.

With that question being asked, the teams had fallen into an area of mistrust with each other, which caused a rift in FOTA and eventually teams withdrawing from the association.

But despite the withdrawals nothing on the face of things has really changed, doubts over the future of FOTA remain, but all the teams, including the ones which recently withdrew, are still in dialogue and working together in regards to discussions about cost cuts and testing.

‘I think the key thing is that even if some teams left officially the organisation, they are still committing on the main subjects ? which are the RRA, and the testing agreements,’ Boullier told Autosport Magazine.

‘Teams are still actively working together, and FOTA also is now about thinking of changing the way we want to operate, and the way we see it perceived in the paddock.

‘If all the teams are not together, it is a different position in the paddock. But there is still some interest for me for all the teams to sit down together and to participate in F1 development.’


Ferrari and HRT both had representatives on the panel at this week’s Fans’ Forum in Barcelona despite Ferrari’s recent withdrawal and HRT pulling out of the group a couple of years ago.