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Page last updated at 12:10 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 13:10 UK

Ecclestone vows to act in F1 feud

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone
Ecclestone says a breakaway would be a 'disaster'

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has declared his determination not to let the championship "disintegrate".

Eight of the sport's major teams are threatening to form a breakaway series because of an ongoing row with world motorsport's governing body the FIA.

But Ecclestone believes the differences between the sides can be resolved.

"My marriage broke up because of Formula 1," the 78-year-old told the Times newspaper. "I am sure as hell not going to let things disintegrate."

The Formula 1 Teams Association (Fota) represents eight out of the 10 teams, including Ferrari, McLaren and championship leaders Brawn GP.

It is at odds with FIA president Max Mosley over what the teams see as his autocratic and arbitrary governance of the sport, among a number of other issues.

Fota is due to meet again on Thursday to discuss whatever emerges from Wednesday's World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris, where issues including the ongoing feud will be up for discussion.

And Toyota president and Fota vice-president John Howett has warned time is running out for an agreement to be reached.


"If we start with the actions next week, which we intend to, to move from a conceptual discussion to implementation phase, we'll start to make commitments that then become very difficult to come out of," he said.

However, Ecclestone insists the issues can be ironed out, saying "if you analyse the problems, there aren't any that can't be easily solved".

"If (a breakaway) started, everybody would be suing everybody else and there would be no other series," he added.

"There would be nothing. It would be finished - it would be a total disaster. Everyone would spend a fortune on lawyers and nothing will happen."

Fota maintains that it is continuing with plans to appoint an administrator for its series and that a review of circuits and potential new entrants is in full swing.

BBC Sport understands that Mosley may have tempered his threat over the weekend to launch legal action against the teams.

After taking an initially bullish approach to Fota's threat to break away, Mosley was increasingly conciliatory in his remarks through Saturday and Sunday.

He told an Italian television station that he would rather "negotiate than litigate".

But despite his claims that the parties were close to an agreement, Fota insiders say no negotiation took place at Silverstone.

Flavio Briatore
If there is somebody who needs to be very quiet in their personal life, it's him because for sure he is not a (good) example, to be president with what he has in his personal life

Briatore on Mosley

And Renault boss Flavio Briatore has warned Mosley to stop dishing out "personal" insults if he wants to see a resolution to the ongoing row.

Mosley described a certain element within Fota as "loonies" over the weekend, and in particular claimed Renault team boss Briatore wanted to be the new Bernie Ecclestone by taking control of the sport.

Briatore, though, hit back, citing last year's infamous expose of Mosley's sex life when he was caught involved in a sado-masochistic orgy with five prostitutes.

"Max is going personal all the time. I'm too much of a gentleman to go personal," he said. "If he wants to go personal, I have a lot to say about Max. I know. He needs to stop insulting people.

"I don't want to personally describe what Max is because in his private life we have already had a demonstration of what he was in the News of the World.

"If he is talking about lunatics and stuff like that, he needs to watch himself, to just do the best job possible for him, the teams and not go personal, insulting me, the people from Fota, the people from ACEA (European Car Manufacturers' Association). It's enough.

"If there is somebody who needs to be very quiet in their personal life, it's him because for sure he is not a (good) example, to be president with what he has in his personal life."

And, despite arriving at Silverstone at the weekend in a helicopter with Mosley and Ecclestone, he insists no talks took place and that plans for a breakaway series continue unabated.

"We have tried to compromise (with Mosley), we have opened the door, tried everything, but we have had the door closed in our face," said the Italian.

"We have tried to make sure we race as Formula 1 teams in a formula with one rule, but this has not been possible, and this is the reason why we are not negotiating any more with anybody."

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see also
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FIA to sue over breakaway attempt
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Reaction to F1 breakaway threat
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Formula 1 is 'finished' - Alonso
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Why F1 future may spin out of control
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Ferrari increase pressure on FIA
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Briatore calms F1 walk-out threat
05 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
In-depth interview - Max Mosley
15 May 09 |  Formula 1

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