What began as an argument over the thorny subject of budget caps many months ago eventually boiled down, via argument and counter-argument these past weeks, to one simple factor: the major teams feel they have had enough of being dictated to by Max Mosley, president of the FIA, of having rules foisted upon them without sufficient notice or reasonable consultation, and being pushed into corners.
For sure, ego is involved on both sides. Mosley's, and that of Ferrari president and the FOTA president Luca di Montezemolo.
But where once several different matters obfuscated the issue, now most of them have been thrashed out – and the argument is straightforward. The teams want Mosley to go and are prepared to push as hard as they need to in order to achieve that end.
They could have capitulated and removed the conditions on their entry for the 2010 world championship. But they chose not to. The time for caving in had been and gone, and they still presented a united front against Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone. And if that meant actually pushing ahead with the breakaway championship that many had deemed fanciful, then needs must in order to achieve the transparent governance that they believe is crucial to the sport's continued survival and prosperity.
A meeting of the FIA World Council could result in Mosley's departure. Most likely it will not. But if Mosley stays, FOTA must go ahead with their series as Mosley continues with his, and therein would lie the seeds of the sport's possible self-destruction.