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F1 in crisis over breakaway


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The future of Formula One is in doubt after FOTA confirmed they are to form a breakaway series.

The shock announcement, on the eve of the British Grand Prix, followed a meeting of the eight rebel teams - Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, BMW Sauber, Toyota, Brawn GP, Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso.

In a strongly-worded statement that pointed accusing fingers at the FIA and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, the FOTA eight made it clear they will not sign up unconditionally for the 2010 season.

"Since the formation of FOTA last September the teams have worked together and sought to engage the FIA and commercial rights holder [Ecclestone], to develop and improve the sport," read the statement.

"Unprecedented worldwide financial turmoil has inevitably placed great challenges before the F1 community.

"FOTA is proud that it has achieved the most substantial measures to reduce costs in the history of our sport.

"In particular, the manufacturer teams have provided assistance to the independent teams, a number of which would probably not be in the sport today without the FOTA initiatives.

"The FOTA teams have further agreed upon a substantial voluntary cost reduction that provides a sustainable model for the future.

"Following these efforts, all the teams have confirmed to the FIA and the commercial rights holder that they are willing to commit until the end of 2012.

"The FIA and the commercial rights holder have campaigned to divide FOTA. The wishes of the majority of the teams are ignored. Furthermore, tens of millions of dollars have been withheld from many teams by the commercial rights holder, going back as far as 2006.


"Despite this, and the uncompromising environment, FOTA has genuinely sought compromise.

"It has become clear, however, the teams cannot continue to compromise on the fundamental values of the sport and have declined to alter their original conditional entries to the 2010 world championship.

"These teams, therefore, have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new championship which reflects the values of its participants and partners."

The FIA had issued a deadline of close of business on Friday for five of the teams in particular - McLaren, Toyota, Renault, BMW Sauber and Brawn GP - to enter unconditionally.

As far as the FIA are concerned, Ferrari, Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso are contracted to enter, hence the reason they were given an automatic entry by motor sport's world governing body last Friday.

Ferrari have long maintained, however, that contract, signed in 2005, was invalidated by the FIA when they failed to recognise the Scuderia's right of veto over the new regulations.

Mosley unilaterally announced the introduction of a voluntary £40million budget cap at the end of April without consulting the teams, most notably Ferrari.

The FIA will point to the fact discussions over cost control were first aired with the teams as far back as January 2008.

Whilst FOTA have now confirmed their intention to stage a breakaway series, actual implementation is another matter.

Significantly, Ferrari face being embroiled in a legal wrangle that could last months, especially as Ecclestone has already stated his intent to sue should they quit F1.

As it stands for next year, F1's line-up comprises Williams and Force India, who were forced to break with FOTA due to their own contractual obligations, and three new entrants in Campos Racing, Team US F1 and Manor F1 Team.


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hopefully thet will spice it up with some mental crashes, im all up for ramps scatted about the track

if this happens, and i can see why not its a brilliant idea, i think there will be a shed load of new viewers and then the f1 guys can stick to fingers and ferrari and go were better!

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Clarkson, Hammond and May should each own a team. They should put ramps on the pit straights, allow flying mushrooms and attach jet engines to the back of cars. Also banana skins to turn the car behind you off course are a necessity. Nicole Scherzinger is the prize for whoever finishes first.

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