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Progress made in F1 crisis talks

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo
Di Montezemolo says Fota have agreed on a common viewpoint for FIA talks

By Andrew Benson
BBC Sport in Monaco

Formula 1's teams and the sport's governing body, the FIA, say they have made "small progress" in talks over the controversial £40m budget cap.

Team bosses met with Max Mosley on Friday having earlier united in their opposition to the cap proposed for 2010 by the FIA president.

The teams said they may pull out of F1 altogether if the row is not resolved.

But discussions will now continue on Saturday in Monaco after a meeting that Mosley described as "constructive".

Mosley, who says a budget cap is necessary to safeguard the future of the sport in the global financial crisis, said he felt optimistic following the meeting.

"We had a good constructive meeting and there are on-going discussions," he told BBC Sport. "We spent three hours in there. Everybody knows what the issues are.

"I'm always confident there will be an agreement."

While no agreement was reached between the two parties on Friday, the F1 teams' umbrella group, Formula One Teams' Association (Fota), was successful in agreeing a common position from which to negotiate with Mosley.

Mosley argues that without dramatic cost reductions, smaller teams wishing to enter F1 will not be able to afford it and that, additionally, big road-manufacturers may be forced to pull out of the sport.

But Ferrari, the longest-running team in F1, had threatened to quit anyway - along with Toyota, Red Bull and Renault - if the regulation changes were enforced in 2010 as planned.

And all 10 teams now say they want a compromise on the budget cap plans.

"We had a very long, productive meeting," said Fota chairman and Ferrari president, Luca di Montezemelo.

Fota is now an organisation with a common view... we want Formula 1, we don't want something different

Fota chairman Luca Di Montezemolo

"Fota will have another meeting tomorrow [Saturday], to discuss, and then we will meet Mosley again."

After meeting earlier on Friday ahead of their latest discussions with Mosley, Fota had said all teams could collectively leave F1 if the row is not resolved satisfactorily.

"We will not enter with these rules and with this governance," said di Montezemolo.

"Fota is now an organisation with a common view.

"We have to discuss about the possibility to change the situation in a constructive way, but in a very clear way, because we want Formula 1 - we don't want something different."

Though all teams are agreed on the need to cut costs, Ferrari have made it known in recent weeks that they are implacably opposed to the proposed £40m budget cap.

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On Wednesday, their appeal to stop the FIA introducing rules that limit team spending was dismissed by a French court in Paris.

It has also emerged in the last week that Ferrari and the FIA had signed an agreement four years ago that gave the Italian team the right of veto over the sport's rules.

Ferrari say Mosley's rule changes contravene that agreement, an argument which the FIA president disputes.

Meanwhile, F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone had this week in Monaco threatened to take legal action against Ferrari if they go through with their threat to quit at the end of the season.

He says that would be in contravention of a contract that commits them to F1 until 2012.



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see also
Ferrari fail in budget-cap appeal
20 May 09 |  Formula 1
Worried Alonso ponders F1 future
20 May 09 |  Formula 1
F1 chiefs stay firm on budget cap
19 May 09 |  Formula 1
In-depth interview - Max Mosley
15 May 09 |  Formula 1
Quit threat is no bluff - Ferrari
14 May 09 |  Formula 1
Lola move closer to F1 comeback
15 May 09 |  Formula 1
Renault join F1 pull-out threat
13 May 09 |  Formula 1
Ferrari issue F1 quit ultimatum
12 May 09 |  Formula 1
Toyota threaten pull-out from F1
10 May 09 |  Formula 1
Wary Raikkonen ponders F1 future
09 May 09 |  Formula 1


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