The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) president Max Mosley has warned the members of the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) there is no compromise over tomorrow's deadline for signing up for next season. Stung by criticisms made by the FIA over the previous two days, FOTA wrote to Mosley and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone calling for an end to the protracted dispute.
In putting forward a number of proposals, FOTA had also suggested extending the deadline for entries through to July 1. But the five teams yet to sign up unconditionally for next year's £40m (Dh238m) budget cap - McLaren, Renault, Toyota, BMW Sauber and Brawn GP -have been told tomorrow is the last cut-off point. In a letter by way of response from Mosley, 69, to the teams, a copy of which has been made public, he insists there is no time left for discussion, saying: "We must answer the remaining applicants for 2010 no later than Friday."
A number of teams are waiting in the wings, although one of those in Lola has today confirmed they have withdrawn their application to compete next year. The five teams concerned now have just more than 24 hours to either accept Mosley's final on-the-table offer or face the prospect of not competing in the series from next year, with Mosley insisting that there would be no more extensions. In their letter, FOTA felt compelled to make one last-ditch bid to resolve their feud with the FIA and bring peace to the sport due to the "increasingly negative publicity generated for Formula One".
FOTA's proposals related to governance, what they describe as 'resources' - their term for a budget cap - and its policing, and the two-tier regulations. On governance, FOTA proposed the signing of a new Concorde Agreement - a confidential commercial document governing the sport - based on the 1998 covenant, but with amendments to bring it up to date. In his reply, Mosley insists that due to the time frame, it is not possible to look at all of FOTA's revisions, and instead suggests a broad acceptance of the 1998 agreement.
In addition, Mosley states: "We can then negotiate a new 2009 Concorde Agreement under the protection of the 1998 arrangements. After all we lived with these for 10 years; a few more weeks or months should not cause any difficulty." Mosley points out that a problem" with the FOTA proposal was the absence of a clear budget figure for teams to work to. "The teams need to know what the constraints are, so do we," he said. "We therefore propose you accept the 2010 rules as published, which we agreed with you last year," with the prospect they could be changed later on.
Mosley is also in agreement that there will be only one set of rules for next year, alleviating fears of a two-tier championship, although Cosworth, engine supplier to the new teams, will be allowed to run without limitation. The FOTA teams concerned are to now be sent a letter, and, if signed and returned, it will make Mosley's proposals "legally binding and the relevant team's entry unconditional".
But if the letters are not returned then the teams' future in the sport will be in jeopardy if Mosley's threat of no more extensions is kept. * PA Sport