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How nine F1 teams boycotted the FIA and Ferrari in protest

Nineteen years ago F1 politics went into turmoil over a rift between Ferrari and the rest of the teams when only the Scuderia turned up for a meeting to discuss rule changes and the long-term future of the championship. The rest boycotted.

Todt Mosley 2005
To news overview © xpb.cc

The rift between Ferrari and the rest of Formula 1 hit a height in 2005, when only the Italian team turned up at a meeting at the FIA to discuss the championships long term future.

After years of Ferrari dominance, dissatisfaction among the competition was great. Not only because Michael Schumacher broke his own record in 2004 of 11 race wins in a season to win 13 races, but also because of the influence the Italian formation had within the sport.

When a meeting is scheduled at the end of January that year with on the agenda possible rule changes and the long-term future of F1, nine teams are absent. Only Ferrari reports to London to sit down with the FIA.

			© xpb.cc
	© xpb.cc

Grand Prix World Championship

To find out the exact reason for the protest, we have to go back a few years. Several F1 teams and manufacturers are not happy with the influence of Bernie Ecclestone and the distribution of all of Formula 1's prize money revenues.

This prompted the formation of the "Grand Prix World Championship" in 2002. In it, Ferrari, Ford, BMW, Renault and DaimlerChrysler united. They wanted to start their own championship in 2008 - there was a contract with Formula 1 until the end of 2007 - and continue to grow the sport.

Ferrari also participated, until January 2005. But behind the other teams' backs, the Italian outfit struck a new deal with Bernie Ecclestone and left the GPWC, leaving it connected to F1 from 2008 to 2012.

General dissatisfaction with alleged favoritism between the FIA and Ferrari causes the nine other F1 teams to skip the meeting in protest.

			© xpb.cc
	© xpb.cc

Team's breakaway plans foiled

When then-FIA boss Max Mosley spoke to the press after the meeting, he lashed out at the nine teams who were absent: "I think there is an element of sulking at the moment. It's a question of whether they are still sulking after Bahrain."

"We gleaned a great deal of useful information today, probably more than if we'd had the other teams here," said Mosley. "It's much easier to talk to one team... and we were fortunate enough today to be able to talk to a team who have demonstrated that they have got a good understanding of Formula One, what it takes to be successful and also what it costs."

He waved away the GPWC's plans to break away in 2008 and start another class: "The FIA make the rules for 2008, that I think is very clear. The sooner we make them, the better it is for everybody. The earlier people know, the less money it costs to make any change.

In the end, Mosley got it right, too. The parties that made up the GPWC all struck a deal and remained loyal to F1. But it would lead to a fractured relationship between all parties in years to come.

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