FOTA Splitting From F1?...Sounds Familiar

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FOTA Splitting From F1?...Sounds Familiar
(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Recent rumors of an aborted boycott of the Turkish GP and that FOTA have been in touch with people who may be willing to spearhead a breakaway have underlined how big the problems between FOTA and the FIA are. Things have gotten so bad that many fans feel a breakaway series is inevitable if the FIA doesn't agree to FOTA's demands.

FOTA remains strongly unitied with only two dissenting teams, only one of them, Williams, considered to be a "big name."

When people think of a breakaway series, thoughts immediately turn to the disaster of the CART/IRL war which, no matter which side of that war you're on, you have to admit ultimately turned US open-wheel racing into a shadow of it's former self.

But hang on, let's think about things here...I haven't been able to find a single similarity between this situation, and that of the CART/IRL war.

The CART/IRL war resulted from one man thinking IndyCars should be run a specific way, and didn't care that the way it was being run had made it the most popular form of racing in US history. I honestly believe that if both sides had worked together and done things right, it was possible that CART and IRL could have co-existed, but egos on both sides destroyed any hope of that.

The problems in F1 are the result of a governing body running things a certain way and planning to apply rules that the majority of teams aren't happy about, and as a result they're threatening to break away and form their own series.

That's not the CART/IRL war, but it certainly sounds familiar, doesn't it?

That's right. F1's not about to repeat the CART/IRL war. If anything, they're about to repeat the USAC/CART war. Which, as we know, lasted all of one season.

CART won the war with USAC because they had the support of the big names(save one: AJ Foyt - much like the current F1 issue has big name Williams ready to stick with F1), and as a result the fans. Teams and drivers finally got the treatment they felt they were entitled, and the USAC championship collapsed shortly thereafter.

CART had it's problems, but it was genuinely entertaining and the majority of it's teams and drivers were happy to be a part of it.

The history of IndyCar racing tells us that a split can be either a complete disaster, or a brilliant move. History also tells us that a FOTA Grand Prix World Championship(or whatever it'd be called) could be the key for the hellish political dramas currently playing out in Formula One.

FOTA may just become what CART was in 1979.

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