The former arch rivals have decided to have a close working and professional relationship to show the powers that be of Formula One of their united stand as the racing teams led by the two rivals formed a group that shall look after the teams' interests. The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) was set up to represent the teams in negotiations with the governing FIA (International Automobile Federation) and commercial head honcho Bernie Ecclestone. Fota are headed by Ferrari president and Ecclestone critic Luca de Montezemelo.
McLaren top executive Ron Dennis decribed the two teams ties as profound and admitted that he did not foresee the rivals eventually joining hands. Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni visited McLaren's Woking factory to meet the staff and Dennis. I guess with this newly formed relationship, it was but natural that executives from each side visit each others' headquarters.
The two teams turbulent past reached its climax two years ago when Ferrari accused McLaren of possessing important technical data of its cars. McLaren was fined $100 million and stripped of all its constructors' points. Not satisfied, Ferrari took legal action against McLaren with Dennis and other top officers interrogated by Italian police. Ferrari dropped all action though when McLaren issued an apology.
This season, FIA head Max Mosely has implemented new rules in Formula One, shaking up its present structure with the primary goal of cutting operational costs, perhaps standardizing engines. For its part, FOTA will be responsible for all the teams' interests. It shall provide the voice for all the teams.
All the teams do agree that the new rules may have provided each and eveyone significant savings in operatinal costs not only in this season but the future as well, FOTA are negotiating that the teams shall have a greater share in the commercial revenues than what they have at the moment which is peg at 50%.
Montezemelo said that Dennis, who shall concentrate on FOTA after divesting himself of the day-to-day operations of the McLaren Racing Team, is a first-class person with a first-class team. He further added that Formula One needed great competition on the track and great unity off the track.
Formula One teams found it necessary to form a group after the financial crisis hit most of the major economies. It also affected major teams like Honda as they placed their team up for sale. The radical changes in the rules have been approved first by FOTA before it was actually implemented for this season. FOTA intends to keep the teams work together for the advancement of Formula One as they continuously seek ways and innovative ideas that shall improve the sport. They also would like to address the issues confronting men nowadays like making the cars more affordable and environment friendly.
I just hope that Ferrari and McLaren do keep their partnership lasting. For the sake of the other teams.
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