Rare is that you can get all 11 Formula One teams to agree on something, but for several years, they did as part of the Formula One Teams’ Association, or FOTA.
That day is no more, with the confirmation Friday that the working group has disbanded.
In a statement, FOTA secretary general Oliver Weingarten more or less said the changing tides of F1 politics helped the organization meet its demise.
“I can confirm that FOTA has today been disbanded as a result of its members’ having re-evaluated their requirements in the face of a changing political and commercial landscape in Formula 1,” Weingarten wrote.
As a personal add-on, Weingarten added on Twitter, “Thank you to all the fans for your support over the years. It has been a pleasure to work with you. I can now be followed @OWeingarten.”
Fan forums – the most recent and now last of which was held in November in Austin – were one of the excellent components FOTA brought to F1. Testing agreements also came to the fore before that.
Still, FOTA was formed as a way for the teams to present a united front to Bernie Ecclestone and then-FIA President Max Mosley (since replaced by Jean Todt) in discussing future commercial negotiations.
FOTA even presented the threat of a breakaway series, but it never materialized. As it was, several teams pulled out of the group, certain team principal positions changed, and the most recent change at McLaren (Eric Boullier in, Martin Whitmarsh out) was among the deciding blows.