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DATE News (chronologically)
06/21/09
f1
FOTA 'loonies' hit back at Mosley: no deal
(GMM)  As Max Mosley expressed hope for peace on Sunday, a word he uttered earlier at Silverstone echoed around the race-day paddock.

When told on the grid that the FIA president described him and some of his fellow FOTA bigwigs as "the loonies", Flavio Briatore replied: "What?"

Mosley believes that while some in the breakaway group are hoping a solution to the political standoff, others are determined to see the sport split -- perhaps buoyed by polls like the one conducted by Sky Italia, showing 91 per cent support for FOTA's plans.

Another figure not at all unhappy about the idea of a rival championship is Toyota's team president John Howett, who after hearing that Mosley is hoping for a peace agreement explained that he is optimistic but "in the other direction".

Mosley told the BBC that Howett, FOTA's deputy chairman, is on "the extreme wing" of the rebel association.

Howett said Mosley's 'loonies' comment was "unhelpful" and "unnecessary", while Briatore hit back at the jibe: "Maybe I am (a loonie)".

It was clear on Sunday that, while Mosley was talking about the likelihood of an agreement, FOTA figures had resolved to deliver a contrary message.

Briatore, McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh and even Ross Brawn flatly denied Mosley's claim that a deal is close, and Stefano Domenicali of Ferrari added that they were speaking "for all the (FOTA) teams".

As for the 'loonies' charge, the Ferrari boss replied: "I think we have shown a very rational and professional approach."

The next event in the saga is likely to be Wednesday's meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.

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