FOTA's response to the Max Mosley price cap plan was quite weak I thought, a vague request for "talks" with the FIA, it's likely that the press release which was expected to be a declaration of war was toned down because of the death of Max Mosley's son yesterday.
Funny about that cost cutting plan, a budget cap that does not include promotional and marketing costs. A plan that will rely, by Mosley's own admission, on "the spirit of the regulations" as one of the governing factors, the same spirit which was ignored in the "diffuser-gate" affair. A cost cutting scheme which comes on the heels of forcing teams to build that silly but expensive fig leaf that is the KERS system. A cost cutting measure right when teams are constructing "spec B" cars incorporating "gray area" diffusers and holes. A cost cutting scheme which will force teams to radically redesign the 2010 cars to accommodate fuel tanks large enough for a full race.
But also a cost cutting measure which has put an effective wedge between the established and the smaller teams and one that has sparked the most interest in years from new teams wanting into the series. Aston Martin, Lola, USF1, perhaps even Minardi and a team lead by Nicholas Todt, are all ready to nip at the ankles of the suddenly vulnerable big dogs.
Some argue that this all has little to do with either cost savings of even "competition". The FIA's only concern is its survival as an institution and that the manufacturer's association (FOTA) is the biggest threat to it's power and control and must be destroyed. Through a series of fortuitous circumstances the FIA has been able to humiliate Mclaren and put it in a precarious enough position that the Woking team needs to be extremely cautious in the future. Now the latest has been this good cop/bad cop routine with Mosley going after Ferrari and Ecclestone pulling back after Ferrari threatened to go endurance racing.
A divide and conquer strategy relies of the notion that a startup team can be competitive and even win... Hello "diffuser-spirit" magic bullet! The Oliver Stone version goes that Mosley, who is perfectly capable of understanding technical details, knew very well that the Brawn "it's not a hole"hole and double diffuser would give it a considerable early advantage and force those teams who had stayed "within the spirit of the regulations" to spend huge amounts to catch up. This in turn would add more pressure for them to accept a budget cap and get in the "spirit of cost savings".