While Jenson Button sprayed the victory champagne in Monaco, after his fifth victory from the six races held so far, sources within the paddock suggested that a compromise might finally have been hammered out to resolve the stand-off between the governing body and the teams over the vexed subject of a voluntary budget cap for next year.
Meeting followed meeting all through the Monaco weekend, but it may be the case that one between the FIA president Max Mosley, Bernie Ecclestone and representatives of CVC Holdings as the Formula One commercial rights holders, and high-level financial officers from Mercedes-Benz came closer to a solution. Though nobody would comment on the record, it is suggested that Mercedes-Benz, under huge pressure from their unions in the wake of job cuts necessitated by the global recession, have proposed deferment of the budget cap until 2011, when the limit would be a more acceptable £45m rather than Mosley's current proposal of £40m.
At the same time the technical advantage suggested to the capped teams would be deleted, and any newcomers registering for the 2010 series would be offered other benefits to make graduation more attractive.
There are hints that a £45m cap might be acceptable even to Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who as president of the Formula One Teams' Association has been the most vocal member to hold out against Mosley's idea.
Ecclestone, under significant pressure from his partners at CVC, canvassed paddock opinion over the weekend as to whether Mosley should stand down. Having seen the crowd figures and business ventures such as hotels, apartment rentals, and restaurant takings make a serious nosedive in the Principality, all parties are now hearing alarms bells tolling menacingly.
With Friday's deadline fast approaching for entries to the 2010 world championship, everyone is keen to find a sensible compromise. This would enable Ferrari to step back and not lose face, placate Renault and Red Bull and Toyota, and set F1 on a new course more in keeping with the current economic climate.Reuse content