F1 teams announce breakaway series

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The Independent Online

Formula One's biggest teams began preparations for a breakaway series earlier today after failing to resolve their dispute with the motor sports' governing body over financial constraints.

The Formula One Teams' Association announced it would not compromise on the quality of the series by signing up unconditionally for the 2010 F1 season under the FIA's radical new plans for cost-cutting.

FIA president Max Mosley is insistent on introducing a voluntary $60 million budget cap for teams to curtail a "financial arms race" in F1.

But with FOTA refusing to agree to the FIA's conditions, championship leader Brawn GP, Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, Toyota, BMW Sauber, Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso are set to be lost from F1.

"The teams cannot continue to compromise on the fundamental values of the sport and have declined to alter their original conditional entries to the 2010 world championship," FOTA said after a meeting near Silverstone ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix. "These teams, therefore, have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new championship which reflects the values of its participants and partners.

"This series will have transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide, partners and other important stakeholders. The major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series."

Amid the global economic downturn, FOTA said it has already embarked on substantial cost-cutting.

"FOTA is proud that it has achieved the most substantial measures to reduce costs in the history of our sport," the statement said. "In particular, the manufacturer teams have provided assistance to the independent teams, a number of which would probably not be in the sport today without the FOTA initiatives. The FOTA teams have further agreed upon a substantial voluntary cost reduction that provides a sustainable model for the future."