x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Fry says teams are serious

The Brawn GP chief executive has warned the FIA president that the Formula One Teams' Association's threat of a breakaway series is not an idle one.

The Brawn GP chief executive Nick Fry has warned FIA president Max Mosley that the Formula One Teams' Association's (FOTA) threat of a breakaway series is not an idle one. The message comes ahead of what Fry sees as a crucial meeting of the world motor sport council in Paris today as they address the dispute that has threatened the existence of Formula One. Mosley seems to think the teams will back down, but he is either miscalculating their resolve, or is misguided as the feeling from the paddock throughout the course of the British Grand Prix was that FOTA are united.

Outlining FOTA's position, Fry said: "The alternative championship is a very realistic proposition. It's not an idle threat as some people hope. "Is it the optimum solution? Maybe not, because we have a great championship here and it's better to improve what you've got as opposed to doing something new. "But if we don't feel we can improve this to the level required then there won't be an option. "It is clear in our mind that we could develop a championship which would have all the star teams, star drivers and the big sponsors. We would also offer a better deal to the fans who, at the moment, are paying through the nose to watch F1."

The eight teams - Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, Toyota, BMW Sauber, Red Bull Racing, Toro Rosso and Brawn GP - brought to the table 47 per cent of the sport's revenue generation last year. Worryingly for the FIA, the new entrants who had been waiting in the wings to join F1, are now defecting towards FOTA. Lola and N.Technology, who were on the reserve list, withdrew their entries last week,. "I believe most of the new teams either have, or will, join the FOTA group," added Fry.

* PA Sport