FOTA teams insist, we don't want war

05/06/2009
NEWS STORY

In spite of increasing hostility from Max Mosley, who this week invited the FOTA teams to go off and form their own series, members of the teams' alliance insist that that they do not want a war with the sport's governing body.

Ahead of next week's unveiling of the 2010 entry list, which many within the paddock believe will see Mosley flex his muscles yet again in a clear attempt to demonstrate who really runs the sport, members of FOTA are at pains to point out that that they do not want war, nor do they want to control the sport, they merely want to have a say in the running of a sport for which they provide 'the show'.

In a clear attempt to diffuse the situation, Flavio Briatore was eager to insist that there is no war. "Everybody in the last two weeks says there is a war," said the Italian. "There is no war. We don't want any war.

"We have the responsibility for the employees that we have," he continued. "I think we have the responsibility with the fans and with the supporters of Formula One. We don't want war with anybody. What we want is governance. We want a system that was always in Formula One. We want a Formula One Commission. We want a Concorde Agreement. We want stability. We want to cut costs and make Formula One more efficient.

"It is not nice when somebody says that next year Renault will not be in Formula One anymore, Toyota is not in Formula One anymore and BMW is not in Formula One anymore," said the Italian.

Then, in a clear swipe at some of the potential teams being proposed for next season, he continued: "We do not trust these people and in the meantime we are trusting Mike Gascoyne with all respect to Mike Gascoyne and Mr Campos with all respect to Mr Campos. Yet this bunch of shell companies is putting in the entrance.

"I think it is very destructive when somebody tells me that Renault next year is not in Formula One anymore in a moment we are negotiating with sponsors, with supporters. It is destructive for Toyota and everybody as well. We want only a healthy Formula One.

"People do not understand anymore what is going on. We want only to just stay in the business, have a normal governance and work with everybody, with Mr Mosley. We do not want a war with Mr Mosley. Nobody wants a war with anybody. We don't want a war with Mr Ecclestone. We don't want a war with anybody. We want to have a better Formula One, better show, better entertainment. This is what we want.

"For sure we want to be Formula One more efficient and this is nice if we are working together to achieve the target. What we want to achieve is maybe much less of what is proposed by the federation but is a different way to achieve it.

"There is no war," he said again. "There is no winner, no loser. If there is a war everybody will lose but we just accept all the bombardments we have day by day. We are not at war with anybody. We just want to respect our employees, our brand. We have been in Formula One the last 20 years if you are talking about Renault and Ferrari 60.

Referring to some of the new teams again, he added: "What kind of guarantee can this company give you that apply for entry to the championship. There is nothing wrong with a new company if it is properly done. We are talking about that, it looks like Brabham is just arriving and the family is fighting already. It is only a shell company. This is very destructive for Formula One, for the value of our brand and for the show, for the people. We want this Formula One, simple as that."

"I think that what we're asking is reasonable," added Toyota team boss and FOTA Vice Chairman, John Howett. "We believe that common sense will prevail and I think that should the entries be rejected we need to sit down and discuss the next steps.

"We do have a number of scenarios," he continued, "and the worst case scenario would be to have to establish our own series, but I think FOTA has a list of scenarios based on the reaction and how the response of the Federation moves forward."

"There is no-one who wants to have any fight with anyone," added Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali, "because this is not, at least on our side, the position that we want to take. It is a moment where we genuinely need to find a solution.

"We have been here in Formula One for 60 years," he continued. "We behave with a lot of responsibility to make sure that the values of Formula One will remain and this is the reason why we feel that it is important to look at this condition. This is the approach that we have taken together with FOTA.

"Do not underestimate that this year with FOTA we have already achieved a lot of cost saving measures without anyone that was requesting us as we know what the environment around is," the Italian added. "But stability, governance, rules and the way to change them, these are crucial points to the future of Formula One. We want to work together to try to find a way out of this moment which is really not good for Formula One."

No doubt, Mosley, who is not attending this weekend's event - not that many others are judging by the numbers of empty grandstands - will be watching events in Istanbul with a Montgomery Burns type smile spread across his face, probably even mouthing the word "excellent", as he looks forward to next Friday.

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Published: 05/06/2009
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