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Breakaway hopes for more than eight teams
(GMM)  FOTA teams are already in talks to expand the grid of a breakaway world championship to more than sixteen cars.

"I think that certainly eight teams would be enough but we would welcome any new teams or existing teams for that matter," said McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh at Silverstone.

It was rumored at Silverstone that Lola, N.Technology and even Prodrive, who applied to field budget-capped teams in the official series but were turned down, have already been talking with FOTA.

"Certainly there has been an expression of interest from some of the names you just mentioned," Whitmarsh confirmed.

Lola and N.Technology have now withdrawn their FIA applications, the latter slamming the FIA for its "highly questionable" selection processes fraught with "many irregularities", "wrong actions" and "objectionable management methods".

Italian outfit N.Technology's parent MSC also confirmed that it will consider making a "new application" once the conditions for a "transparent and loyal contest" are present.

Whitmarsh continued: "I think a lot of the teams want to be racing against the Ferraris, Red Bulls, the Brawns and hopefully ourselves and we are going to do everything we can to encourage them to be part of it."

FOTA's breakaway plans have reportedly also kindled the interest of at least two TV broadcasters, who are concerned about being stranded in an F1 next year devoid of the star names.

Sky Italia is thought to have a clause requiring that Ferrari is on the grid, while Britain's BBC is believed to be consulting with lawyers about its own contractual obligations for 2010.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "We never discuss contracts for reasons of commercial confidentiality.  We are monitoring the situation."

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