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DATE News (chronologically)
06/19/09
f1
Reactions to FOTA/FIA F1 turmoil  UPDATE Martin Whitmarsh on Friday indicated that the FIA's official F1 world championship will wither if FOTA successfully establishes a breakaway series.

Conspicuously quiet amid the political crisis, the McLaren boss broke his silence at Silverstone by suggesting he is not concerned that the situation will create a hole at the pinnacle of global single seater racing.

"I don't think there will be two premier racing championships," he told the BBC.

"All I can say is that there will be a championship next year and that the major names that have historically been involved in motor racing will be racing together and I think that will be recognized as the major championship."

His opinion was not shared by F1's chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, who was nonetheless unconvincing when he insisted he is "not concerned" by the worsening row between major teams and the FIA.

"The formula one world championship has been going for 60 years and will continue to go," he said.

"We've had 73 teams in and out of the world championships so I don't suppose it will change."

The crisis deepened yet further after afternoon practice at Silverstone, when the FIA vowed legal action against the treachery of FOTA, and particularly Ferrari, which is bound legally to F1 for the future.

"I think to go against the governing body is a very, very dangerous position to take," said former team owner Eddie Jordan.

Patrick Head, whose Williams team - like rebels Ferrari and Red Bull - is similarly committed for 2010, said: "The contract is binding."

Others detect a struggle only to remove Max Mosley as FIA president.  An unnamed FOTA team member told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that "anyone would be better" in the role than the 69-year-old.

Rumors suggest a vote will be called for Mosley's head at the World Motor Sport Council next Wednesday.

Nonetheless, FOTA's threat has to be taken at face value, and it is causing waves in the motor racing world.

Germany's EuroSpeedway Lausitz threw its name into the ring as a potential breakaway venue, and bookmaker Ladbrokes is taking bets as to which alternative TV companies will land deals to broadcast the races.

Australian promoters, however, said they are not worried.

"We have every faith Formula One Management will reach a satisfactory resolution and the Australian GP will happen next year in March," said a spokesman for the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.

06/19/09 Here are some of the reactions to the fight which has thrown F1 into turmoil.

NICK FRY - BRAWN GP CHIEF EXECUTIVE
 
"We have negotiated with both Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone at some length in good faith and not quite got to where we want to be so at the moment it looks like we will be doing something different.

"It's a variety of problems. One is what we would call overall governance of the sport. The way it is run and decisions are made. There are also some financial difficulties on the way costs are going to be controlled in the future.

"I think Max in general does a good job but it's a combination of things. Some of the decision making we feel has been done without the consensus or the participation of the competitors and that is obviously an issue.

"The drive to reduce costs is the one supported by all the teams, but on the other hand some of the processes by which we get to cost cut aren't supported by a number of the teams.


ANDREW BENSON'S BLOG
The underlying issue is the governance of F1 - and particularly the leadership of Max Mosley. Fota is no longer prepared to put up with the FIA having absolute power...

"We're not against reduced costs in F1. They have got too high. For our team, which is one of the smaller ones, getting down to a figure like £40m is not so much of an issue. But we want to be competing against the likes of Ferrari or Toyota. They are much bigger companies and it is a much more difficult for them and they need time to do it.

"Really the ball is in Max's court. He has to announce the participants in the championship for next year, so we'll see what happens there. I do hope from our point of view that discussions continue.

"We want to compete against the best in the business, and the reason that we were very keen to be with the group of eight is that it contains the best motor racing teams in the world.

"We want to be competing against Ferrari, Renault and Toyota and others.

"As we sit here today, the great teams are within the Fota group, and Brawn GP want to be beating the best. I'd be confident there will be F1 racing next year - the format - who knows?"


CHRISTIAN HORNER - RED BULL TEAM PRINCIPAL
 
"There has come a point where those negotiations have come to a close now. The teams have felt they have gone as far as they can and the FIA similarly.

"Therefore, you enter under the terms that we find unpalatable or you do something else. We've reached the stage that if we want to keep competing is to do something else.

"I think it's quite clear that the Fota teams have probably now gone as far as they can. I'm perhaps ever the optimist but from what I've seen of the statements from the FIA they seem fairly resolute.

"We've unfortunately reached that stalemate and I can't honestly see either side budging at the moment which leaves no alternative."


FORMER F1 DRIVER DAVID COULTHARD
 
"I think this is another part of the challenge of Formula 1. We tend to think of the driver-car challenge on the track but it's always been about business maneuverings off-track as well.

"What we're seeing here is the ultimate maneuvering, the ultimate game of chess, between the governing body and the teams.

"The rules can be whatever they all collectively decide them to be. The way F1 is set up, we have the commercial rights holder, Mr. Ecclestone, and he does a fantastic job in getting the venues and the TV contracts, and the FIA which governs the sport and what they've said is that if the teams are not happy then they can go and find someone else govern them."


TRIPLE WORLD CHAMPION JACKIE STEWART
 
"I think the teams have now realized that, economically, they can manage their own business very well, thank you very much, and the FIA often say that they are not the commercial arm of Formula 1 and the money side is not their business.

"Well, right now they are making it their business and that's why there's been a fall out. Bernie Ecclestone must surely play a part in this as well because he has F1's commercial rights, and I think he has to influence Max Mosley on how he goes about his business.

"Max has been doing it in a very imperial way for probably too long and empires do come to an end, as Julius Caesar found out. Nobody is bullet-proof and nobody can last for ever - big trees do blow over."


F1 RIGHTS HOLDER BERNIE ECCLESTONE
"I'm not concerned. The Formula 1 world championship has been going for 60 years and will continue to go.

"We've had 73 teams in and out of the world championships so I don't suppose it will change."


FORMER F1 TEAM BOSS EDDIE JORDAN
 
"It may be the situation where the teams are saying we will happily deal with the FIA but - and this is purely my view - but we want rid of Max Mosley.

"Max has to decide whether he goes for re-election or not, and I presume the teams want to see that he doesn't and that he follows through with what he said he would do and stands down.

"There's not a chance [of there being two rival series in 2010]. It's a huge sport but it does not stand up to having two rival events. No sport does, and I think to go against the governing body is a very, very dangerous position to take."

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