#F1 : McLaren’s Whitmarsh Wants OUT!
It seems Martin Whitmarsh has had quite enough. After three years as chairman of FOTA, it is understood that he has decided to not be seeking re-election.
For those readers unaware of what FOTA is, let me give you the “Reader’s Digest” version. FOTA stands for Formula One Teams Association. It was formed in the summer of 2008 and was comprised of all Formula One teams. It’s purpose was to give the teams a unified front and single voice. In theory, this would make dealing with the FIA and FOM group less abrasive. This would have proven especially useful when renegotiating a new Concord agreement.
While Whitmarsh may not be around to chair the group, he did not reveal any indication that McLaren as a team would pull out of the association. It should be noted that before the start of the 2012 season, Ferrari and Red Bull decided to break rank and leave FOTA. Sauber soon followed suit. Leaving FOTA might have given the teams the ability to negotiate independently with Bernie Ecclestone for a sweeter piece of the F1 money pie.
As pen meets paper to ink a new Concorde Agreement, might we see a further exodus and/or perhaps a further break down of FOTA? In May of this year, there were rumblings that Mercedes were still uncertain of their position. In July, another similar story made its rounds.
Back to Whitmarsh then. Three weeks ago, there was a question asked of Whitmarsh, as to whether he might be one of the three members from Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren to join FOM’s board. While he’d be honored to be asked to be a member, in doing so, he would have to break ties with his team. Martin of course never clearly answers a question of that nature with a straight reply, so he left the door open and left us all guessing.
Author: Ernie Black