FIA hits out at disruptive F1 teams

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The Independent Online

The FIA today pointed an accusing finger at what they perceive as a disruptive element within the Formula One Teams' Association.

Motor sport's world governing body claim significant progress was made during a meeting last Thursday involving FIA president Max Mosley and four FOTA members - Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari), Ross Brawn (Brawn GP), Christian Horner (Red Bull) and John Howett (Toyota).

The following day the gulf between the two organisations appeared to widen again following the FIA's confirmation of entrants for the 2010 season.

In particular, a draft letter from FOTA to the World Motor Sport Council and FIA Senate was leaked, seemingly circumventing Mosley, in which FOTA outlined their grievances.

The letter called for the intervention of the World Council due to the fact "no substantive progress" had been made with the FIA.

In a FOTA press release issued later that day, the body made clear they would release details of their concerns and "constructively explain why the FIA's proposals are bad for the future of Formula One".

Such comments have astonished the FIA, who have today issued their own response, ignoring Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone's call for the mudslinging between the two to stop.

A FIA statement read: "During the meeting FOTA acknowledged that the FIA wanted to encourage the introduction of new teams in the championship to maintain its vitality and economic viability in the long term.

"Agreement was reached on technical regulations for 2010 which offered assistance for new teams from the currently competing teams in several key areas.

"It was also agreed that the objectives of FOTA and the FIA on cost reduction were now very close, and that financial experts from both sides should meet at the earliest opportunity to finalise the details.

"It was proposed by the FIA that any perceived governance and stability issues could best be eliminated by extending the 1998 Concorde Agreement until 2014, thus avoiding lengthy negotiations for a new agreement.

"This was well received by those present who undertook to report the suggestion to the other FOTA members.

"The FIA believed it had participated in a very constructive meeting with a large measure of agreement.

"The FIA was therefore astonished to learn that certain FOTA members not present at the meeting have falsely claimed nothing was agreed, and that the meeting had been a waste of time.

"There is clearly an element in FOTA which is determined to prevent any agreement being reached regardless of the damage this may cause to the sport.

"The FIA will publish shortly a detailed and documented account of the facts in its dealings with FOTA."