FIA and N.Technology: The "Other" Fallout

James BroomheadAnalyst IJuly 14, 2009

NORTHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 21:  F.I.A. President Max Mosley is surrounded by the media as he arrives in the paddock before the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone on June 21, 2009 in Northampton, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

While the main talk around at the FIA/FOTA disagreement has been around the possibility of the eight FOTA teams forming a new series, or the futures of Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone, everyone seems to have forgotten the other parties involved.

The teams that were rejected for the 2010 F1 season last month.

However, over the weekend it was reported that one of the rejected teams, N.Technology, plans to take the FIA to court.

Now, this is one of those rare times where I get to stand on my soap box and tell everyone I was right. Way back in the middle of May I foresaw that with the FIA running around trying to keep the current F1 teams onside, moving the goalposts of the budget cap, they were in danger of incurring the wroth of the teams they had attracted to F1 with exactly that rule. I even have the evidence in print here.

N.Technology, while one of the many teams that were rejected in favour of USF1, Manor and Campos by the FIA, seem to have taken the defeat harder than most.

Soon after the 2010 list was made public in early June the team publically said they felt they had been used as "a pawn" in the battle between the FIA and FOTA.

Ignore the fact that, on name alone, N.Technology were somewhere in the lower echelons of the dozen or so applications, and they probably have a good case.

There was so much "umm-ing and "ahh-ing" as I called in the article above about what exactly the rules were, and so many seemingly movable deadlines, most of which were aimed at trying to make the FOTA teams as comfortable as possible for next year.

N.Technology appear to be focusing on "irregularities" surrounding the selection process. While these have not been explicitly named the "umm-ing" and "ahh-ing" are good candidates, along with the team's earlier assertion that the two Red Bull teams had their entries accepted despite the lack of a confirmed engine manufacturer.

Add that to the emerging news and theory that the new teams had to agree to running a Cosworth engine, a design designated by the FIA as a standard engine, to be selected and the FIA's position legally speaking can be seen to be in doubt.

Indeed the related Autosport story, which can be viewed here, confirms that a Paris judge has deemed it a valid case, and is expected to be heard fully in September.

At that time, it is unlikely that it will change the entry list for any 2010 F1 championship, and is likely to be more a case of N.Technology recovering the cost of preparing the application, including any design and staff costs.

So far N.Technology are the only rejected team to have pursued legal action against the FIA. However, with the case already having been declared valid, it is likely that several other teams may bring similar cases against the FIA.