FOTA elements scuttling talks, says FIA

Motor Sport: Formula One

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement on Monday that it felt there had been a "large measure of agreement" in talks last Thursday with representatives of Ferrari, Toyota, Red Bull and Brawn GP.

"The FIA was therefore astonished to learn that certain FOTA members not present at the meeting have falsely claimed that nothing was agreed and that the meeting had been a waste of time.

"There is clearly an element in FOTA which is determined to prevent any agreement being reached regardless of the damage this may cause to the sport."

The FIA did not name any individuals. However Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who did not attend the meeting, said on Saturday that the big manufacturers were ready to organise an alternative championship if necessary.

FOTA and FIA are locked in a standoff over the 2010 rules, and a planned budget cap, with champions Ferrari one of several teams threatening to walk away unless the terms are rewritten.

The FIA published a controversial 2010 entry list on Friday, with all of the current 10 teams included but five only provisional pending talks to be concluded by this Friday.
Ferrari and Red Bull's two teams were included unconditionally against their wishes, with the FIA arguing that they had a pre-existing contract. Brawn owner Ross Brawn, whose team are leading the championship, told reporters that FOTA's financial working group was meeting the FIA on Monday to try and resolve the budget cap, or what he termed 'resource control for the future', issue. 

"There were some criticisms back from the FIA on the proposal we made and those are being addressed today with the FIA and the group to see if we can find a solution," he said.

"The other open point is governance and there are meetings this week to see if we can get that to agreement that everyone is prepared to support," added Brawn.

"I think there are still the opportunities this week to resolve the issues and if the issues are resolved then we will be happy to enter."

Brawn played down a suggestion that his team could find themselves 'out of business' if they did not sign up unconditionally by Friday: "I don't think it's at that level," he said.

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