FOTA guarantees unity with $50m pledge (GMM) With Williams and Force India on the outer after filing unconditional FIA paperwork, the F1 teams' alliance FOTA has moved to ensure its unity is not further eroded.
Martin Brundle, a former driver and now an expert broadcaster for British TV, wrote in his column for the Sunday Times that the manufacturers face a crippling penalty if they break ranks and pledge to the 2010 world championship before a block compromise is brokered.
"Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Renault and BMW have signed a $50m bond not to jump ship and enter the 2010 championship unconditionally within the next 30 days," Brundle claimed.
In the hours before the Turkish grand prix, a breakaway world championship seems more likely than ever. Max Mosley seems unwilling to back down over budget caps, and now boasts famous names like Williams, March, Brabham and Lotus for his 2010 grid.
Theoretically in another series will be grandee marques like Ferrari and McLaren, not to mention the likely 2009 world champions Brawn GP, who for now are openly supportive of the FOTA stance.
"Somebody is going to have to capitulate for the sake of the sport," Brundle insisted.
Interestingly, those close to Brundle could benefit from Mosley's 'new' F1: his brother Robin is a director of prospective 2010 entrant Lola, and his 18-year-old son is currently racing in F2, the FIA's preferred feeder category to the world championship.
"I hope my son and brother can experience F1 as I have been privileged to do, but I don't want F1 diluted too much," he wrote.