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Feuding parties reach accord to save F1 championship

Max Mosley agrees to relinquish role as president of the FIA.

A deal was agreed yesterday which will save Formula One from a split that could have wrecked the 60-year-old racing championship. The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), motorsport's world governing body, and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) reached a compromise at the World Motor Sport Council meeting that prevents a rival series being launched by leading teams, including Ferrari and McLaren.

A row over new regulations and a voluntary budget cap had threatened the sport, which has a seven-year agreement for a race in Abu Dhabi. But the eight members of the FOTA will now take part in the 2010 championship, alongside Williams, Force India and the new entrants Campos, Manor and Team US F1. Cost-cutting measures will be introduced by the FOTA, and the teams will sign up to stay in F1 until 2012.

Max Mosley has also agreed to relinquish his role as president of the FIA after 16 years when his current term ends in October. He said: "I will not be up for re-election, now we have peace. There will be no split. There is no budget cap because costs will come down to the levels of early 1990s, in two years. "They've got the rules they want and the stability; we've got the new teams in and the cost reduction."

Luca di Montezemolo, the FOTA chairman and president of Ferrari, is hoping the previously warring parties will now work together to make Formula One stronger for the future. "Polemics is not good for F1 and particularly for the public because F1 is a fantastic sport that has to be relaunched, not only protected," he said. akhan@thenational.ae

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