'Walkout' revives F1 row

The spectre of yet more unrest in Formula One walked the Nürburgring paddock yesterday ahead of Sunday's German Grand Prix after the FIA accused the Fota teams of walking out of a meeting to rubber stamp the World Motor Sport Council's decision regarding a freeze on sporting and technical regulations for next season.

According to the governing body, all of the changes have been agreed subject to a minimum car weight of 620 kg and the signing of an agreement between all the teams to reduce costs.

Williams, Force India, US F1, Manor and Campos were all ready to sign, but the eight renegade Fota teams who were invited to discuss their further proposals for 2010 instead walked out of the meeting of the Technical Working Group, according to an FIA statement.

Fota denied they staged a walkout and accused the FIA of putting last month's peace agreement into jeopardy by granting them only observer status. They disagree with the FIA's view that they do not have full status until they have signed a new concorde agreement. "Charlie Whiting [the FIA's race director] chaired the meeting and was clearly embarrassed by [president] Max Mosley's order that our opinion should not count," a Fota insider revealed.