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Friday, June 19, 2009

FOTA announces breakaway plans

In the latest round of the war over the 2010 regulations, the remaining FOTA teams have refused to drop the conditions on their entries and instead announced they are preparing a rival championship.

The announcement followed a FOTA meeting Thursday night.

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Practice


Text of the FOTA statement:


Press Release
Date:
19 June, 2009



FOTA UNITED ON THE FUTURE


Silverstone, 18 June 2009 - Since the formation of FOTA last September the teams have worked together and sought to engage the FIA and commercial rights holder, to develop and improve the sport.

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, that 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. This series will have transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide, partners and other important stakeholders.

The major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series.

Note to Eds: Statement issued by FOTA on behalf of BMW-Sauber, BrawnGP, Scuderia Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Renault, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Toyota.


The FIA has since responded:

Press Release
2010 FIA Formula One World Championship
19/06/2009

The FIA has noted the latest press statement from FOTA.

The FIA is disappointed but not surprised by FOTA’s inability to reach a compromise in the best interests of the sport. It is clear that elements within FOTA have sought this outcome throughout the prolonged period of negotiation and have not engaged in the discussions in good faith.

The FIA cannot permit a financial arms race in the Championship nor can the FIA allow FOTA to dictate the rules of Formula One.

The deadline for unconditional entries to the 2010 FIA Formula World Championship will expire this evening.

The 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship entry list will be announced tomorrow.

UPDATE -- This was somewhat inevitable:

Press Release
The FIA and FOTA
19/06/2009

The FIA’s lawyers have now examined the FOTA threat to begin a breakaway series. The actions of FOTA as a whole, and Ferrari in particular, amount to serious violations of law including wilful interference with contractual relations, direct breaches of Ferrari's legal obligations and a grave violation of competition law. The FIA will be issuing legal proceedings without delay.

Preparations for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship continue but publication of the final 2010 entry list will be put on hold while the FIA asserts its legal rights.

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