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Deal reached to avoid breakaway F1 series

Deal reached to avoid breakaway F1 series
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First Published: Wed, Jun 24 2009. 06 39 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Jun 24 2009. 06 39 PM IST
Paris: Peace broke out in Formula One on Wednesday when a deal was reached to avert a breakaway series and teams agreed to further cut costs.
Embattled FIA president Max Mosley, who said that he would not be seeking re-election, had been at loggerheads with eight teams over his plans to introduce a budget cap for 2010.
“The basic news is that there will be no split. There will be one championship in 2010 which is I think something we all hoped,” Mosley told a news conference following a meeting of the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council.
“We’ve reached agreement on a number of items. In particular we’ve reached agreement on reduction of costs. We’ve had significant help from the teams. The objective is to get back to early 1990s levels within two years.”
The Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA), headed by Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, had objected to the budget cap which they felt could lead to a two-tier series with the teams agreeing to the cap being allowed greater technical freedom.
FOTA had said the teams were already cutting costs individually to cope with the global economic crisis and that no overall regulation was needed.
The governing FIA further fuelled matters this month by publishing a 2010 entry list including all the existing 10 teams and three new entrants despite the wrangling.
Mosley Leaving
FOTA responded by announcing plans for a breakaway series next year before last weekend’s British Grand Prix but the teams have now committed themselves to F1 until 2012.
“Now the manufacturers, that’s to say FOTA, have committed commercially until 2012...as far as the FIA is concerned the commitment is indefinite,” the FIA chief added.
Mosley, who earlier this week hinted he wanted to stay on in his post and would not be forced out, will now step down when his mandate ends in October.
“I will now be able to look at Formula One knowing it’s peaceful and stable and be able to stop as was always my intention in October of this year so I won’t present myself for re-election now that we’ve got peace,” Mosley said.
The Briton survived repeated calls for his resignation last year after a sado-masochistic sex scandal but won a confidence vote in May 2008.
Formula One commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone was thrilled with the outcome.
“I’m obviously very, very happy that common sense has prevailed which I’ve always believed it would because the alternative was not good at all,” he told the news conference.
“I’m also I must say very, very, very happy that the teams have come to their senses to stop spending large amounts of money.”
FOTA head Montezemolo, who had been due to chair a meeting in Bologna on Thursday to discuss plans for a breakaway, was pleased that this year’s rules will continue next season.
“I think the decisions we have shared this morning are important. We will have the rules of 2009, same rules for everybody. It means that we have stability,” he said.
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First Published: Wed, Jun 24 2009. 06 39 PM IST