FOTA set to collapse
17 February 2014 – The Formula One Team’s Association (FOTA) could cease to exist at the end of this month, it has been reported.
According to The Telegraph, FOTA is suffering from ‘substantial’ financial problems, due to unpaid subscription fees, and is also leaderless after Martin Whitmarsh, former chairman, was ousted from his role at McLaren by the returning Ron Dennis. FOTA was formed back in 2008, but has been rocked in recent years by the departure of Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Toro Rosso and Sauber – all quitting at the end of 2011.
FOTA’s general secretary, Oliver Weingarten, told the ‘paper: “I can confirm that the teams have met in discussion as to how to potentially restructure the association and continue and further the engagement with the non-members, who have benefited from FOTA activities over the last 12 months.”
Marussia F1 CEO Graeme Lowdon meanwhile believes that the teams will be worse off if FOTA does fold: “I think it would be unfortunate if there wasn't a forum for the teams to discuss issues,” he explained. “The teams should have common objectives. We certainly experience a lot of the same things.
"We all work to the same rules, go to all the same places. In a truly efficient structure, there would be very much an important role. It’s difficult when you’ve got some teams whose primary objective is financial survival, and others is to promote a product.”