In this day and age I really have a great deal of suspicion that the board of directors had been misinformed as to the proposed spec engine discussions. For Ferrari and the FIA to have such a close working relationship it seems like the stars are aligning for F1 to implode.
The FIA has noted the press statement issued by the Ferrari Board of Directors:
It seems the Ferrari Board were misinformed. The FIA has offered the teams three options, one of which is the so-called standard engine, and another that the manufacturers should jointly guarantee to supply power trains to the independent teams for less than €5 million per season.
The FIA is delighted by Ferrari's financial success and hopes this will be maintained. However a number of teams find themselves facing costs which greatly exceed income. This is not sustainable.
It is now for the manufacturers to agree one of the three FIA options or themselves produce concrete proposals to reduce costs to a sustainable level.
If neither happens, the FIA will take whatever measures prove necessary to preserve a credible world championship for both drivers and constructors.
I think that it may prove to be the other way around if you ask me. Toyota has announced the same stance regarding spec engines and that Ross Brawn is probably the most respected individual walking the paddock, issuing the statement as part of the newly formed FOTA, then to have Ferrari issue a like statement and have FIA publicly embarrass Ferrari by singling them out implying they were confused?
Oh dear. I do believe that the FOCA FIA and F1 relationship is about to shatter.
The refusal of Max to step down from FIA has put enormous pressure on Bernie to distance himself from his former colleague and legal representative. The members of FOTA have also been under pressure from their major sponsors to distance themselves from Spanky Gate.
My guess is that Bernie set Max up to take a fall and Max knows this. This is probably why he hasn't stepped down as FIA president. He wants to take Bernie down with him and perhaps see Bernie formally charged with extortion. I really think it is that deep.
Perhaps FOTA can buy the rights to F1 and clean house of Bernie and Max but as it stands right now Bernie is in the drivers seat because he owns the most valuable part of F1; the television and media rights to F1. He also made a move in 1991 that will perhaps play out quite well at the end of next year:
Formula One Promotions and Administration has applied for the pan-European trademark rights to the name GP1 covering 16 categories including organizing and staging sports events, broadcasting, sportswear and timing equipment. This is a predictable move and no doubt part of the plan for Ecclestone to keep control of the business that he has built up around Formula 1.
This would be a less than perfect path for FOTA to travel down but the easiest. It would also put FOTA and Bernie in a much more advantageous position to control the deal with FIA and to get rid of Max.
If Max does prove that Bernie was behind the move to discredit him, this could at a minimum, allow him to sue Bernie for libel and perhaps for the law to formally charge Bernie with extortion. That would allow FOTA to gain control of GP1 and build the name or void the contract and go back to FIA under the F1 name minus Bernie. Hopefully by that point in time Max will have stepped down as FIA's president.