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FIA attitude leading F1 nowhere

india Updated: Jun 05, 2009 23:47 IST
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It seems ironic that one of the most interesting Formula One seasons continues to be overshadowed by politics off the racetrack.

In any other sport it would be called gross mismanagement. In some, the organising body might even charge the ringleaders with bringing the sport into disrepute. However, as one of the main people in this impasse is FIA boss Max Mosley, I can't see that happening here.

The fact is that despite Mr Mosley's best efforts to 'divide and conquer', the alliance created by the Formula One Teams Association is holding together.

Led by Ferrari, nine FOTA teams beat the May 29 deadline to enter the 2010 championship by just hours, but their entries came with strings attached. They said that they were entering with expectations that the 2010 regulations will be the current 2009 rules, amended in accordance with additional cost-saving proposals that FOTA has submitted to the FIA.

While the FIA has kept relatively silent on this move, it is suspected that Mosley could simply term the FOTA teams' conditional entries as invalid on June 12.

So, who would be on the starting grid for the 2010 World Championship?

Well, there's Williams. The independent team so far are the only ones to have made an unconditional entry to the 2010 series.

To pressurise the teams, Max has cleverly brought in a host of new teams, who are likely to fill up the starting grid, if he excludes the 'conditional' teams. Some, including Prodrive, Lola, Campos Meta 1 and Litespeed already have strong records in other formulae. Others, including USF1, Team Superfund and Epsilon-Euskadi, bring in people with Formula One expertise.

Mind you there are some dodgy names too. One entry has been received from a long-established team name, which, however, has never entered a race at all. Could it be that the FIA is playing 'musical chairs'? Will the FOTA team find all the chairs occupied when the music stops? The outspoken website 'Paddocktalk' sums up what many are thinking.

“This whole Formula One entry process by the FIA is done without any transparency…,” it said. “Not only do we not know exactly who has filed entries, but no one knows who exactly is evaluating the teams and based on which principles. We have to trust an organisation that in our view is completely untrustworthy.” Says it all.

Thankfully, we are set to have an absolute cracker of a race this weekend to take our minds off the politics.

The Turkish Grand Prix is run on one of just three anti-clockwise tracks in F-1, the others being Interlagos in Brazil and the Singapore Marina Bay street circuit.

The track also features probably the most demanding corner in Formula One, the triple- apex left-hander at turn 8 has the drivers straining against a sustained left-hand cornering load of over 4G and it will probably be taken flat-out. Because turn 8 is such a long, fast corner, if you don't get the line exactly right you get bounced off the circuit. I guess Brawn will still be the team to beat, but Ferrari could potentially be the team to beat them.

My money goes on Massa's smooth driving style to give the Scuderia their first win of the season.