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Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Thursday, 9 July 2009 17:53 UK

F1 breakaway plans still in place

All 10 team bosses met in Monaco to discuss their views on the budget cap proposals
The 2009 F1 season has taken place against a backdrop of political manoeuvring

By Andrew Benson
BBC Sport at the Nurburgring

Eight of the major Formula 1 teams are continuing with plans to set up a breakaway championship next year.

F1 was thrown into confusion when the eight teams in the rebel umbrella group Fota were told on Wednesday they were not entered in the 2010 championship.

"We have to keep our options open," said BMW F1 boss Mario Theissen. "We are working in both directions.

"It is part of the ongoing negotiations and we can only hope it will be sorted out," he added.

Theissen said the teams had been caught by surprise when FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting told their engineers in the meeting that they could not have an input into a discussion on finalising next year's rules because they did not have entries.

Whiting's statement contradicted an announcement by the FIA's world council on 24 June which listed the eight Fota teams - McLaren, Ferrari, Renault, BMW, Toyota, Brawn, Red Bull and Toro Rosso - as confirmed entries.

It's somewhat confusing to have been accepted as an entrant and then suddenly it looks different again

BMW F1 boss Mario Theissen

That statement had come after Max Mosley, president of F1's governing body the FIA, had reached a compromise deal with Fota chairman and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo and F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone.

As part of that agreement, the outline of next year's rules was set, the teams agreed to commit to F1 until 2012, Mosley's plan for a £40m budget cap was replaced with an agreement to reduce costs to "mid-1990s levels" by Fota's methods and the FIA president agreed not to stand again for the governing body's presidence in October's elections.

Theissen said: "It's somewhat confusing to have been accepted as an entrant and then suddenly it looks different again."

Fota said in a statement after Wednesday's meeting that the FIA's new stance had "put the future of Formula 1 in jeopardy".

But after the FIA put out a lengthy statement on Thursday detailing its side of the argument, the bosses of the Fota teams were taking a more conciliatory line as they arrived at the Nurburgring ahead of Sunday's German Grand Prix.

Theissen described the FIA's latest move as "irritating", but added: "I wouldn't exaggerate it."

It is understood that the teams are trying to negotiate a new commercial settlement with CVC, the venture capital group that owns the commercial rights to F1, at the same time as finalising with Mosley and Ecclestone a new Concorde Agreement, the document that binds them to the sport and which enshrines their rights.

The FIA statement ended by saying: "At present, it seems probable that a final draft of the 2009 Concorde Agreement will be agreed and be ready for signature in the coming days."

But Fota insiders insist they will break away from F1 if Mosley tries to renege on what was agreed in Paris last month.

After the Fota teams left the meeting on Wednesday after it was made clear to them that they would not be allowed to participate in discussions, the remaining teams rubber-stamped all the rules that had been proposed and agreed by the F1 Teams' Association.

Andrew Benson's blog

Those left at the meeting were current teams Williams and Force India and the three new teams - Manor, US F1 and Campos.

Manor technical director Nick Wirth, who has a close relationship with Mosley, told BBC Sport: "The five teams left, all agreed it unanimously. I can see, despite hubris, that there is commonality on the technical side.

"There is discussion about a new Concorde Agreement but the fact is the technical regulations are an appendix of the Concorde Agreement - so if you want a new Concorde Agreement, you need to agree technical regulations. It's almost like a chicken and egg (situation) at the moment.

"There is a lot of tension and antagonism but I hope everything will calm down.

"Actually, I am quite confident it will. I'm confident on technical agreement - we will not have two sets of rules - and I hope and believe we will have progress in the next few days."

Additional reporting by Ted Kravitz and Jonathan Legard



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see also
F1 deal ends threat of breakaway
24 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Mosley hits back at calls to quit
23 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Mosley offers compromise on 2010
18 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Ecclestone vows to act in F1 feud
22 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Mosley confident of F1 resolution
21 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Formula One on a budget
20 Jun 09 |  Technology
FIA to sue over breakaway attempt
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Reaction to F1 breakaway threat
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Formula 1 is 'finished' - Alonso
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1


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