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FOTA clarifies GP boycott 'threat'
FOTA has issued a statement this evening, clarifying that comments made by three FOTA officials at a meeting with Bernie Ecclestone had the full support of all ten teams. John Howett, Ron Dennis and Flavio Briatore met with Ecclestone in London on March 18th in order to resolve a financial dispute that has arisen between CVC (owners of F1's commercial rights) and the sport's teams.

During the meeting, it was reported that Briatore and Dennis threatened to stop their cars flying to Australia for the season-opening Grand Prix insisting that they would be able to organize a total boycott of the event by all teams, and FOTA has now stated that this had the full support of all teams. The dispute relates to unpaid revenue from the 2006, 2007 and 2008 championships, likely to be a considerable sum.

In the statement released by FOTA, the details of the meeting was confirmed. “The meeting, which took place in London on March 18th, involved John Howett, the Vice Chairman of FOTA, Flavio Briatore in his capacity as chairman of the Commercial Working Group of FOTA and Ron Dennis as a member of the Executive Committee of FOTA as well as Bernie Ecclestone, the Commercial Rights Holder. The FOTA representatives presented the unified views of all FOTA members.

“The purpose of the meeting was to discuss payment of money owed by CVC (the effective owners of the commercial rights to Formula One) to the teams and relates to agreed sums owing from the 2006, 2007 and 2008 championship years.”

FOTA claims that the finances were sought in order to speed up the signing of a new Concorde agreement and bring previous dealings between teams and the rights older to a close. “FOTA are committed to accelerate the signing of the new Concorde Agreement and, as part of the conditions necessary to obtain the signatures of all the teams, it was necessary to reach a conclusion to this outstanding matter,” continued the statement.

“During the discussions, any position stated by the members of FOTA who were present was supported by all members.”

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