Ross Brawn is "completely confident" his team will be competing in Formula One next season. Brawn GP were told by motor sport's world governing body, the FIA, on Friday they must submit an unconditional entry by this Friday if they want to compete in next year's world championship. McLaren, BMW Sauber, Renault and Toyota are in the same position, leaving a cloud hanging over the sport going into this weekend's British Grand Prix. There remain issues between the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) and the FIA, in particular over governance as well as the logistics of policing what Brawn describes as 'resource control' rather than a budget cap. However, as F1 is Brawn GP's only means of business, in comparison to BMW, Renault and Toyota who compete in other motor sports and have road car divisions, it would appear imperative the impasse is resolved this week.
"I hope it will be," remarked Brawn. "Although I'm not sure it will mean we are out of business by the end of the week. I don't think it's at that level. "But FOTA have been supportive of Brawn GP, and the reason we are in Formula One is because of the support we received, particularly from McLaren and Mercedes, and offers of help from Ferrari. "So we want to support the group in trying to find a solution. We, as small independents, balance up the group with the manufacturers and they want to support the small independents. "So we've stayed together as a group, and we can present a balanced approach on what needs to be done.
"It's not a manufacturers' association, it's the Formula One Teams' Association. That's why we are staying with FOTA. "We believe in the principles of FOTA, and that as part of FOTA we can be influential in finding the right solutions." Brawn has today confirmed his team have already spent the past few weeks working on next year's F1 car, suggesting they will be around from 2010. "I'm completely confident (we will be in F1 next season), and you have to plan on that," asserted Brawn. "There's nothing else to plan for. We cannot allow this row to be a distraction to our engineering and racing plans.
"I'm not supporting a breakaway championship, but if there was one, then it would be one with cars similar to what we are working on now, which will be without refuelling." A meeting of the Financial Working Group and the FIA is due to take place today to address the outstanding issues surrounding the voluntary £40 million (Dh240m) budget cap. There will also be a number of other meetings this week as FOTA and the FIA try to find a way forward with regard to governance, ultimately president Max Mosley's dictatorial leadership. "All of us and I mean this collectively have got ourselves into a situation we need to learn from," remarked Brawn.
"What we want to get back and put in place again is an agreement between the teams and the FIA on governance for the future, and how we can avoid these situations ever occurring again. "I think there are still opportunities this week to resolve the issues, and if they are, then we will be happy to enter." *PA Sport