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Page last updated at 15:41 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 16:41 UK

Briatore calms F1 walk-out threat

Flavio Briatore
Briatore insists Renault want to remain part of Formula 1 for years to come

Renault team boss Flavio Briatore has sought to calm the ongoing row between Formula 1 teams and governing body the FIA amid the threat of a team walk-out.

Fota - the group representing all but one of the teams on the grid - is in dispute with the FIA's plans to enforce budget and technical changes in 2010.

But Briatore said: "We do not want a war. From day one, Fota was never aggressive. We want governance."

Earlier, Toyota boss John Howett said teams could not rule out quitting F1.

FIA president Max Mosley told current teams this week they were free to quit the championship if they did not comply with new rules.

And Howett said: "We are not looking for confrontation but we need a broad option plan and looking at alternative series has to be one."

Teams are seeking a compromise over a budget cap proposed for 2010, and want changes in a number of other areas as well.

It had seemed an agreement was close after meetings between the teams and the FIA around the Monaco Grand Prix last month.

We do not want a war - we want governance, the F1 Commission, a Concorde Agreement and stability. We want cost-cutting

Flavio Briatore
Renault team boss

Since then, nine of the current 10 teams have made conditional entries for 2010, requesting a more gradual and voluntary approach to cutting teams' costs and a renewal of the Concorde Agreement that lays out their rights.

But Fota's bargaining position was weakened on Friday when it emerged that Force India had joined Williams in lodging their own independent entry.

Howett, the Fota vice-chairman, said it was likely the organisation would suspend Force India - as it already has Williams - as a result of their action.

And Briatore said talk of teams pulling out of F1 next season was premature, adding: "We do not want a war. We do not want a war with Max Mosley or with Mr [Bernie] Ecclestone [F1's commercial supremo].

"We want governance, the F1 Commission, a Concorde Agreement and stability. We want cost-cutting.

"It is very destructive when people say Renault will not be in F1 anymore. We want to stay in the business. We want a better F1 and a better show.

Eddie Jordan

New teams will struggle - Jordan

"It's nice if we are working together to achieve this target.

"For us it's a surprise why it is so difficult. We want to be in F1 in 2010, '11, '12, '13, '14."

The teams have been awaiting a response from Mosley to their conditional entry, and he is expected to write to them setting out his position on Friday.

BMW Sauber boss Mario Theissen conceded that the row had reached a critical point.

"The situation is difficult," Theissen told BBC Sport. "But I don't want to speculate about what will happen. We need to wait for a few weeks.

"We are really committed to finding a solution with the FIA to go forward together. I hope it can be resolved.

"We have not had an official response from the FIA, and that's the next step.

"We will have to wait and see if we get one before 12 June. We are awaiting a reply, and only then we will decide what to do about it."


Theissen added that the conditional entries had been Mosley's idea.

But Mosley's most recent statement suggested a resolution may again be some way away.

"If you want to formulate your own rules, then you can organise your own championship," the FIA president said in an interview with Swiss magazine Motorsport Aktuell at the weekend.

"We now have a dispute and we will see who prevails.

"But we have the F1 championship. We draw up the rules for that, we have been doing that for 60 years and we will continue doing so."

The new disagreement appears to have arisen after teams changed their position in the days following Monaco.

There, it was agreed that a 45m euro (£39.6m) cap may be phased in for 2011 with an intermediate stage next season.

But it is believed that the Fota teams - Ferrari, McLaren, Toyota, Renault, BMW Sauber, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Brawn GP and Force India - have now asked for the cap to be phased in over three years rather than two.

They have their own proposals for cost saving - but are also concerned about governance, and have been demanding an end to the way Mosley is able to impose rule changes since he allowed the Concorde Agreement to lapse in 2007.

BMW boss Mario Theissen

FOTA won't break away - Theissen

Mosley had appeared in Monaco to agree to resurrecting the Concorde Agreement, which gave teams a statutory role in rule making through an organisation called the F1 Commission.

But he told Motosport Aktuell: "A Concorde Agreement received so late can't be signed by 12 June. There are 500 pages," he said.

BBC Radio 5 Live F1 commentator David Croft said: "Mosley is in no mood to fully compromise on this matter and the wish to abandon cost-cutting for next year, something the Fota teams insist must happen for them to take part.

"So the duel continues, the pistols are loaded and the two are starting to march the 12 paces.

"Potentially we have a full grid for next year, but for the fans is it still F1 without Ferrari, McLaren and co?"

Should some of this season's entrants fail to make it to the start line for next season, there could be a return to the sport for Brabham after an entry was submitted under that name.

The duel continues, the pistols are loaded and the two are starting to march the 12 paces

BBC Radio 5 Live F1 commentator David Croft

It is understood that German businessman Franz Hilmer has bought the rights to the name of one of the most prestigious F1 marques, which in 30 years of grand prix racing from 1962 to 1992 won two drivers' and four constructors' titles.

He attached the famous British name to the failed Super Aguri team, which withdrew from last year's championship as its funding dried up, and is willing to compete under the financial restrictions proposed by Mosley.

However, the the family of three-time world champion Sir Jack Brabham - the oldest surviving F1 title-holder at the age of 83 - are considering taking legal action.

The nine other teams who have confirmed lodging an entry with the FIA are Prodrive, Lola, March, Litespeed, Epsilon Euskadi, US F1, Campos Meta1, Team Superfund, and N.Technology to give Mosley some ready-made, if less famous, replacements.

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see also
Ferrari stay firm over budget cap
31 May 09 |  Formula 1
Williams suspended in sign-up row
27 May 09 |  Formula 1
F1 team chiefs seek new solution
26 May 09 |  Formula 1
Williams confirm F1 entry in 2010
25 May 09 |  Formula 1
F1 budget cap solution in sight
24 May 09 |  Formula 1
Mosley hopeful on budget cap agreement
24 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
Toyota threaten pull-out from F1
10 May 09 |  Formula 1
Lola move closer to F1 comeback
15 May 09 |  Formula 1

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