Formula One teams launch breakaway
FOTA members announce split from Ecclestone, Mosley and the FIA to launch their own competition from next year
The world of Formula One was shaken yesterday whent he eight teams that make up Fota (Formula One Teams' Association) confirmed that they are to form their own breakaway series starting from next season.
As the teams gather in Silverstone for this weekend's final British GP at the historic track, Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, Toyota, BMW Sauber, Brawn GP, Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso all declined to enter into next season's competition. The sport's governing body, FIA, had set a deadline of today for the teams to accept their £40m budget cap and sign on for 2010, which the teams rejected.
Led by Ferrari, the teams have been infuriated by the uncompromising stance of FIA president Max Mosley, who unilaterally announced the budget cap in April.
Ferrari, Red Bull and Torro Rosso, however, face a legal wrangle as their names have automatically been put forward for the 2010 competition, although Ferrari claim that the budget cap amounts to a breach of the contract it signed with the FIA in 2005.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING:Tom Cary, the Telegraph: "Five teams, including Brawn GP and McLaren, had been told by the sport's governing body, the FIA, to drop the conditions attached to their 2010 entries by close of play on Friday or risk being excluded from next year's championship. Another three teams – Ferrari, Red Bull and Toro Rosso – have been entered unconditionally against their will and are effectively in the same boat, with the proviso that they could be sued by F1's commercial rights-holder, Bernie Ecclestone, if they refuse to compete."
Andy Martin, the Guardian: "While Fota has now confirmed its intention to stage a breakaway series, the 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 intention to sue for millions of pounds should they quit Formula One. Any series without Ferrari will be hard to sell to television companies and race tracks around the world, the most renowned of which are signed up with Ecclestone. Last night's announcement by Fota is sure to cast a pall over this weekend's British grand prix, which is set to take place at Silverstone for the last time before switching to Donington."
Edward Gorman, the Times: "The row over budget capping may be the immediate cause of the split, but there is no doubt that the rebellion by the teams also reflects their collective loss of patience with Mosley. Privately, team principals have spoken of how they do not want their companies to be in any way beholden to an individual whom they do not trust. Mosley is regarded as dictatorial in style, wilful and meddling, and the breakaway is one way for the teams to escape his influence. In Formula One politics, grand gestures often lead to little ultimate change. This time the teams have gone out on a limb and they are likely to face enormous obstacles in trying to set up a series in the teeth of Ecclestone and Mosley's opposition." ·
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