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Ecclestone sees no easy solution to budget row

NEWS STORY
21/05/2009

Speaking in Monaco, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he believes there is no easy solution to the ongoing budget row, and is doubtful that any of the major teams will submit their 2010 entries in time for next week's deadline.

"We'll have to wait and see," he told Reuters. I think the majority probably won't put an entry in."

Referring to Ferrari, which yesterday lost its injunction against the FIA but warned of possible further legal action, the Englishman added: "We don't want to lose Ferrari. I hope it's unlikely. I am concerned, I don't want them leaving. I don't think anybody does."

While attention remains focussed on the Italian team, Toyota's John Howett - who in the eyes of some is fast becoming Max Mosley's new whipping boy, following Ron Dennis' 'decision' to stand down as McLaren team boss - warned that the Japanese manufacturer is far from happy, and, like Ferrari, in unlikely to enter in 2010 if the FIA continues with the budget cap in its current form.

"There is a high probability that we won't enter before the deadline because I don't think that those items will be clarified," Howett told Reuters. "If nothing changes I don't think that professionally it is possible to commit the company to do that. I can't recommend that in my position.

"With the investment we have and the social responsibility, we need at least a three year vision of what we are participating in and what the future is and how it can be redefined," he added. "At the moment it is too uncertain.

"Governance is a fundamental issue and for us (Toyota) that's a principle that needs to be clarified before we can actually talk about the detail," he continued. "The danger we had in the meeting (with Mosley) was being sucked into the detail.

"We need to just understand clearly among the members of FOTA what the clear position is. We need a tri-partite Concorde Agreement where it is absolutely clear how the regulatory framework can be changed. it's very simple.

"I don't think we want to actually dictate the rules," added Howett, who is also Vice-President of FOTA, "but those rules must be changed in compliance with a fixed structure which is legally binding. At the moment that is not the case."

The FOTA teams are due to meet on Friday on Flavio Briatore's yacht.

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