The FIA or the Teams: Who Has the Upper Hand?

Daniel ZylberkanCorrespondent IMay 14, 2009

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 09:  Felipe Massa of Brazil and Ferrari drives during the final practice session prior to qualifying for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 9, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

There has only been one common denominator in the history of Grand Prix Racing. The Presence of Scuderia Ferrari in the ranks of the constructors. Tifosi far and wide from Maranello, to Hong Kong and as far Brazil only watch Formula One to support the red machine with the prancing horse on the nose.

Ferrari's threat to quit Formula One f the rules are unchanged for the 2010 campaign should not be seen as idle threat, I take it to be very serious. Ferrari with its enormous fan base has the the clout to be able to start a break away grand prix racing series.

Fans don't watch Formula One because its sanctioned by the FIA or because of the pomp and circumstance. Fans want to see racing, the best racing in the world as a matter of fact. The loyalties lie with the cars they fantasize to own and the drivers they idolize.

That is the capital that Ferrari and the FOTA have, the fans. So far McLaren and Williams have stated they will not jump ship if the regulations are changed. All of the other major teams Renault, BMW, Red Bull and Toyota. What do all of these operations have in common you ask?

The size of their budget in the 2009 season. Manufacturer backed teams have larger budgets than their smaller independent counterparts. Auto manufacturers have spent too much money in their Formula One enterprises to let the FIA arbitrarily change the rules whenever it wishes.

The FIA and Formula One itself, have the weaker position in my opinion when it comes to this battle with only the minor independent teams and McLaren-Mercedes so far siding with Mosley and Ecclestone.

The FOM and FIA have something that the FOTA does not. The rights to the Formula One name, the circuits and the television broadcasting rights.

The basic flaw in Mosley's and Ecclestone's thinking is that fans value Formula One for the name of the series but not for its component parts. Formula One is not Formula One with the most prestigious names in the automobile world in its ranks.

Some upstart American Formula One team and further a David Richard's led...Kuwaiti backed...Aston Martin endorsed Frankenstein of a team does not make Formula One make.

Formula One's appeal lies in its tradition and history. The FIA and Bernie Ecclestone do not possess any of that history besides being the entities responsible for broadcasting the race and giving the authority for the Grand Prix to be organized.

In 100 years nobody will remember the sporting regulations for the 1991 Formula One season or the scoring system used to find a champion. But people will remember that it was Ayrton Senna that won and that he drove a McLaren.

Racing is not defined by rules, regulations, authority or anything of that sort it is only a discourse between the fan, the driver and the car, nothing else