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Page last updated at 13:01 GMT, Sunday, 21 June 2009 14:01 UK

Mosley confident of F1 resolution

By Andrew Benson
BBC Sport at Silverstone

Max Mosley
Mosley believes a breakaway F1 series can be averted

FIA president Max Mosley believes a resolution is close to being reached to stop legal action against the Formula 1 teams threatening a breakaway series.

The row is over a budget cap and how the sport is run.

"We are talking to people all the time. It will all be back to normal, it's just a question of when," said Mosley.

"We are very close. What divides us and the teams is minimal and really is something we could sit down and iron out very quickly."

He added: "We have said to the teams we are ready to do this. Now it may take them a little time to get to the position where they want to, but when they do, we are ready."

The eight Fota teams - McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, Brawn, Toro Rosso, Renault and Toyota - released a statement late on Thursday night declaring their intention to quit F1.

That has been the prelude to an extraordinary weekend of political intrigue at the British Grand Prix, which saw Mosley react by threatening legal action against the teams.

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But, after McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said Fota was "open to finding a solution if we can", Mosley's stance has also calmed.

Asked if there was the potential for the writ not being issued, the 69-year-old added: "I think we would rather talk than litigate."

Whitmarsh had said Fota had to take that decision because they had been painted into a corner by Mosley's decision to impose a deadline of Friday for them to lodge unconditional entries into F1 next year.

Fota has been trying to negotiate a compromise over Mosley's plan to introduce an optional £40m budget cap next season, with technical advantages for those teams who choose to operate within it.

Fota also wants to reduce budgets, but they want to do it in a different way from a cost cap.

They also want an end to what they see as Mosley's autocratic governance of the sport, guarantees on the stability of the rules, and a reinstatement of the Concorde Agreement, which Mosley allowed to lapse in 2007.

The Concorde Agreement enshrined the rights of the teams, including their involvement in rule-making.

Mosley had offered compromises and had said the teams should enter F1 and then discuss the changes afterwards, but the teams were not prepared to lodge entries without guarantees that the FIA would do as he said.

Whitmarsh said: "I don't think Fota rules anything out. The teams were presented with a deadline. We did request there was more time to find a solution but we didn't get it so a final decision was taken. The teams are ready to discuss with anybody how we go racing next year.

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"The best solution has always been for the three factions that have been involved in these discussions to come together and agree. In the absence of that you've got to decide either to stop racing or go and do something else."

He added that any other course of action would have led to some of the car manufacturers pulling out of F1 - although he would not specify which ones.

"We're looking to try to have a series where teams and manufacturers have an influence on regulations, on where we go motor racing, are being paid, [and where there is] a single set of regulations.

"They seem fairly reasonable pre-requisites to me.

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"The teams have sought to enter. The conditions [they set] were very reasonable. Of course, it's sad. It's not what the teams sought to do, or what Fota was created to do, but there comes a point where forced into a deadline you have to make a decision for the good of the sport.

"If on Thursday night some teams had decided to enter then I am very confident there would have been a number of teams up and down this pit-lane who would have left this sport, some big manufacturers, and I don't think they would have been able to have been encouraged back.

"We have concentrated on keeping as many teams together as possible.

"We want to race with Brawn, Toyota, Renault, Red Bull, BMW. The decision taken on Thursday was the only decision where there was a prospect of doing that next year."

Ecclestone, who has so far not had any success in bringing the two sides together, told BBC Sport on Saturday: "We'll do our best [to fix it]. I'm sure we'll find a way. We have us, the federation and the teams and that's the way it should stay.

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"I think in the end people will have enough sense not to bust this business up. Everyone should stay in their place and do their job.

"As ever when people start to have an argument, they don't know where to stop and all sorts of people have ideas about what should and shouldn't happen, but eventually it will sort itself out.

"I have some sympathy for the teams. Nobody wants to be told how they can spend their money. I say, provided they confirm they will be in the championship for five years, they can spend what they like.

"And with Max [Mosley] it's difficult for some people to understand that this all started because he wanted to save the teams money so they didn't go out of business, he has done a lot of very good things for Formula 1."

In a BBC Sport interview on Friday, Mosley described the breakaway threat as "posing and posturing", adding: "Always with these things in the end there's a compromise. They can't afford not to run in F1 and we would be very reluctant to have an F1 world championship without them."



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see also
British Grand Prix qualifying results
16 Jun 09 |  Results
British GP is secure - Ecclestone
20 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Vettel on pole as Button stutters
20 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
British Grand Prix qualifying photos
20 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Button downbeat on victory chance
20 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Qualifying was a struggle - Button
20 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
David Coulthard column
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Drivers' news conference in full
20 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
British GP qualifying as it happened
20 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
British Grand Prix practice photos
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
FIA to sue over breakaway attempt
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Formula 1 is 'finished' - Alonso
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Mosley stands firm in budget row
17 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Ferrari increase pressure on FIA
13 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Carmakers in F1 breakaway warning
12 Jun 09 |  Formula 1


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