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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 October 2005, 09:02 GMT 10:02 UK
Stoddart predicts F1 will split
Minardi team boss, Australian Paul Stoddart
Outspoken Minardi owner Paul Stoddart is convinced Formula One will split into two championships in 2008 as talks over the sport's future rumble on.

Led by car-makers Renault, BMW, Honda, Daimler-Chrysler and Toyota, the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association is demanding a greater share of F1 income.

And although relations between the GPMA and FIA president Max Mosley have warmed, Stoddart fears the worst.

"I think we are sadly heading towards two series," he said.

"It is looking increasingly more obvious, the manufacturers have made a very clear statement that they want a fair and equitable Formula One.

"We agree with that statement and it is going to give rise to the two championships which everybody fears.

"But I can't see Mosley backing down and equally I can't see the manufacturers backing down so the net result is that there will be most likely two series in 2008."

Stoddart, who is selling his Minardi team to Red Bull at the end of the season, is considering returning to team ownership once the dust has settled on any split.

"Hopefully it will provide me with an opportunity to come back," he said.

And when asked which side of the split he would join, Stoddart replied: "The manufacturers, no question about it."

The five manufacturers allied together in the GPMA have held two meetings with Mosley to find a compromise.

The talks were described as constructive by all parties, although Mosley later criticised the GPMA for failing to address mounting costs and time is running out for a deal.

The McLaren, Renault, BAR, Toyota, BMW and Minardi teams are allied to the GPMA, with Williams and Jordan wavering.

Red Bull and Ferrari have already agreed to an extension to the Concorde Agreement which is due to run out at the end of 2007.




SEE ALSO
Mosley thaws frosty F1 relations
29 Jul 05 |  Formula One
Breakaway group demands F1 talks
25 Jul 05 |  Formula One


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