The row between the FIA and FOTA entered a new phase this afternoon as the FIA put out a statement saying that they were preparing legal action,
“The FIA’s lawyers have now examined the FOTA threat to begin a breakaway series. The actions of FOTA as a whole, and Ferrari in particular, amount to serious violations of law including wilful interference with contractual relations, direct breaches of Ferrari’s legal obligations and a grave violation of competition law. The FIA will be issuing legal proceedings without delay.
“Preparations for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship continue but publication of the final 2010 entry list will be put on hold while the FIA asserts its legal rights. ”
The FIA is meeting fire with fire. Part of the reason for the delay is that some of the potential new teams have withdrawn, leaving a potential entry list looking thin.
The legal threat is serious, but it does allow a period of reflection and dialogue, if a way can be found to restart the talks. The next major stage is Wednesday’s FIA world council meeting. I still think that the FOTA strategy is to try to effect change, but Mosley seems to be very sure of his ground and his support.
Ferrari are singled out in the FIA statement and their contract with the FIA remains the single most important aspect of this.
They responded this evening by saying that they have already launched an arbitration process at a civil court in Lausanne, this was done on Monday. This will establish the validity of the contract.