The FIA's 2010 Formula One World Championship entry list, released yesterday, courted controversy by confirming definite entries for three teams who insist that their entries are still conditional.
Ferrari, Red Bull and Toro Rosso are all part of the Formula One Teams Association, whose other five teams – McLaren, BMW Sauber, Toyota, Renault and Brawn – are also on the list but subject to further discussions with the FIA. The governing body claims Ferrari had a legal obligation to race until 2012, having been the sole signatory to an extension of the Concorde Agreement, while Dietrich Mateschitz's teams, Red Bull and Toro Rosso, have legal agreements to compete with Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Management group.
Ferrari expressed anger that the FIA had taken such a unilateral decision and issued a statement which said: "Following publication of the entries for the 2010 Formula One World Championship, which includes Ferrari as an unconditional entrant, Ferrari wishes to state the following: Ferrari submitted on 29 May 2009 an entry to the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, subject to certain conditions. These conditions have not been met.
"Notwithstanding this and despite Ferrari's previous written notice to the FIA not to do so, the FIA has included Ferrari as an unconditional participant in next year's Formula One World Championship. For the avoidance of any doubt, Ferrari reaffirms that it shall not take part in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship under the regulations adopted by the FIA in violation of Ferrari's rights under a written agreement with the FIA."
Red Bull issued a statement echoing the sentiments. The FIA have given the five conditional FOTA teams until next Friday, 19 June, "to lift those conditions following further discussions to be concluded not later than close of business on 19 June".
Besides the current 10 teams, the FIA accepted entries from newcomers Campos Grand Prix from Spain, Manor Grand Prix from the UK and Team US F1 from the US, but not from Prodrive and Lola, who were reportedly "very close" to satisfying entry requirements. The governing body insisted on documentary evidence to support all the new teams' assertions, particularly in regard to funding, and worked with Deloitte in a due diligence process that examined accounts, contracts, multi-year business plans, key staff, project plans and capital assets. Prodrive and Lola will be given entries should one or more of the manufacturer teams withdraw.
Recruitment drive: F1's new teams in 2010
*Campos grand prix Madrid-based team launched in 1998 by former F1 driver Adrian Campos. Competed in various championships from GP2 to Euro F3, winning six drivers' championships
*Manor F1 TEAM Founded by John Booth, a former single-seat champion, in 1990 and based in Sheffield and Bicester. Have 171 race wins and 19 championship titles in series such as Formula Renault and Formula 3 Euroseries.
*team us f1 A new US-based operation. Principal Ken Anderson has experience of designing Indy 500-winning race cars.