FOTA Urged to Detach from FIA and Ecclestone

Formula One would be a more attractive sport in terms of revenues if neither Bernie Ecclestone nor the International Automobile Federation (FIA) handled its business. This is the conclusion reached by former Canadian Grand Prix promoter Normand Legault, which he in fact exposed to all the F1 teams shortly after the formation of the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA).

According to the 53-year old Canadian, the way in which money are distributed within the F1 teams shows just how much they are losing in their financial relationship with Ecclestone. Compared to North American sports, the 50-50 share with the Formula One Management (managed by the 78-year old Englishman) doesn't really serve the teams like it should.

“The National Hockey League doesn't have to ask anyone if it wants to increase the size of the net by six inches! To go back to the model of the NHL, if the league administrative costs are $50 million, and overall revenues are $1.8 billion, then that amounts to 3 per cent. In F1, the guy who manages the business costs you 50 per cent of your revenues,” said Legault.

He also insisted that the Formula 1 teams are able to organize themselves without the help of the FIA. To exemplify, Legault turned again to North American pro sports, where the teams don't ask permission of any international body to organize their games.

“I said to them 'why don't you reorganise yourselves like a North American sports league? When the (Montreal) Canadiens play the Boston Bruins, they don't ask the International Hockey Federation to referee the match.”

“In the world of North American pro sports, each league has a board of governors, a commissioner and vice presidents who manage the business. The owners of the sport manage themselves,” added Legault.

The Canadian also argued that, if the Formula 1 big guns will decide to leave the sport from as early as tomorrow, they could easily form a competitive series of their own.

“The teams could leave tomorrow morning. They could call it the Grand Prix World Championship. If you have Ferrari, BMW, Williams, if you have Lewis Hamilton, that seems pretty much like the real thing,” concluded Legault.
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