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Formula One On The Brink Of Collapse

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The FIA Formula One world championship is in doubt for next year after a shock announcement to create a breakaway series after a late night meeting by 8 renegade teams last night.

Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, Toyota, BMW Sauber, Brawn GP, Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso who make up FOTA, the Formula One Teams Association made the following statement last night (18/6/09).

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.

The FIA has reacted with the following statement expressing strong dissapointment in the decisions reached by FOTA.

We are 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.

I will keep you posted as the story unfolds

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