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In the days leading up to the 2010 entry deadline, and ever since, the silence from the FIA has been deafening. Is it because Max Mosley is preparing to deliver a killer blow to F1 on June 12?
On Saturday, in the wake of the announcement that the nine remaining FOTA teams had submitted conditional entries for the 2010 World Championship, Pitpass was contacted by a motorsport insider understood to be on the verge of submitting his own entry.
The individual asked why Pitpass, indeed, no other section of the media, had not addressed the "fact that FOTA's conditional entry is illegal under FIA rules".
"You cannot enter based on a demand," the individual continued. "Furthermore, the entries period is run under the 40m cap rules."
Pitpass immediately contacted a respected F1 insider, who has long experience of such matters. Asked about the claim that established teams' conditional entry is illegal, he replied: "The FOTA teams have not entered the World Championship in accordance with the regulations. Therefore, the only teams that are now officially entered are Ferrari (because of its contract with the FIA, which lasts through until 2012), Williams, because it broke ranks and signed, and those new teams that submitted entries by the May 29 deadline.
"With the exception of Ferrari and Williams, all the other existing F1 teams have put their franchises at risk by submitting a conditional joint entry," he continued. "The consequences of all this will become clear on June 12, when the FIA is scheduled to publish the 2010 Formula One World Championship entry list."
According to our source, at that time; "F1 will experience the biggest single shock in its entire history".
Meanwhile, when contacted by editor, Chris Balfe, Pitpass' business editor, Chris Sylt, revealed that he had already been looking at the legal implications of Friday's announcement.
In a nutshell, Sylt believes that the FOTA teams have not submitted valid entries, for with the conditions attached this seems be legally impossible.
"They may think that they have submitted valid entries," said Sylt, "but, in fact, the entries they have submitted will either legally bind them to the 2010 Championship according to the existing regulations (budget cap and all) without conditions or their entries are invalid and therefore the FOTA teams have not lodged any entry for next year. I think that the latter is the most likely."
In order to lodge an entry for the 2010 World Championship, the teams have to fill in and sign an FIA entry form. This requirement is written into the 2010 Sporting Regulations: 13) COMPETITORS APPLICATIONS
13.1 Applications to compete in the Championship may be submitted to the FIA during the period 22-29 May 2009 inclusive on an entry form as set out in Appendix 2 hereto accompanied by an undertaking to pay the entry fee of €309,000 (three hundred and nine thousand Euros) to the FIA no later than 1 November 2009.
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