There is an excellent piece in GrandPrix.com that I think bears reading for an unemotional view of the FOTS/FIA "agreement". This was the first time I'd read about an FIA proposal to have a "standard fuel"???
It's at http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns20926.html
some excerpts (emphasis added):
"Taken at face value the standardisation of engines is something that could drive out not just Ferrari and Toyota but also other manufacturers. Honda would almost certainly follow and there are fears that BMW management would walk as well (some say that the Germans are already the closest to the edge of all the car companies in F1
). And if BMW goes one has to wonder about Mercedes-Benz."
"The problem is that the FIA wants to cut costs and yet at the same time beat on the environmental drum, which means that it needs to allow research and development of new technologies. This means it is in an impossible situation. Standardising KERS is a sensible move in that teams have already shown that it is not going to make much difference in terms of the relative performance (because the idea was not properly thought through). A climbdown over KERS would however open the FIA to claims that its environmental ideas have cost the teams tens of millions are dollars, which does not look good when the FIA is dressed up in its cost-cutting guise. This may have bought a perception that F1 is reacting to environmental questions, which is a good thing, but it has achieved little else apart from wasting money."
"A number of teams are also up in arms about the FIA's apparent desire to have standard fuels
. This makes no sense at all and thus cannot be taken at face value. The fuel used in F1 is subject to "fingerprinting" which means that there cannot be any significant development that changes the character of the fuel. What standard fuel would do would be to drive out the oil companies, which are the traditional and logical partners of the car manufacturers in the sport. Shell, Mobil, Elf, Petronas and Petrobras provide very considerable amounts of funding for the big teams (estimated to be in the region of $150m) and to remove their ability to use the sport as a true marketing tool would be damaging to the teams. It would cut back on the money supply (and thus force more cost-cutting) but it is hard to see how this is a good thing for the sport. Oil companies have been with the sport through thick and thin and are likely to be around when banks and telecommunications companies have wandered off to do other things and they are among the richest companies in the world and can afford F1 without too much trouble."
"The bottom line in all of this that F1 teams will spend whatever they have in order to gain an advantage and if the FIA cannot get them to agree to a budget cap it is best to let them sort it out amongst themselves, while at the same time, making sure that there are sufficient small teams left to fill the grids. It is best to have them agree contracts that they will stay in the sport for a contracted period and if they choose to leave will agree to fund replacement teams. If they want the benefits of F1 they also need to accept some responsibilities. They also need to be better rewarded by the sport which pays out only half of what it earns, the rest going to banks which have loaned money to fill the pockets of the financiers who care nothing for the sport. Once the current debt is paid, the commercial rights need to be discussed again."
Enzo Ferrari was a great man. But he was not a good man. -- Phil Hill