Briatore baffled by FIA/FOTA row
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, June 5th 2009, 16:46 GMT|
Renault boss Flavio Briatore says he is baffled why teams and the FIA are still at loggerheads over cost-cutting plans for Formula 1.
With eight of the current teams only willing to enter next year's championship if rules for a £40 million budget cap are scrapped and a new Concorde Agreement is signed, F1 is facing the threat of a possible breakaway championship if their demands are not met by next Friday.
But with the FIA and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) still not near agreement on a way forward, Briatore has said he cannot work out why the situation has been taken to the brink.
"Honestly, we don't know. For us it's a surprise why it's so difficult," Briatore said. "On my side, we don't understand why it's so difficult. We want to be in Formula 1. We want to be there in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015. Again, we are always talking about 2012, I don't know why. We are talking about the future; why not 2013, 2014. I don't think there's any difference.
"From day one, FOTA was never aggressive with anybody. We just want to participate in the championship, we want to cut costs, we want to have clear rules, we want to have a governance, we want to go through, like it was in your time, we need a Formula One Commission, we need to make all the decision-setting together for the good of the sport, for the good of Formula 1.
"All the time we are forgetting the fans, the tifosi, the people. We're always forgetting these people. There is a lot of confusion now. I don't understand what the problem is. I think some people really don't understand why there is a problem. It's very destructive. We're not bluffing because when you have the responsibility of three or four hundred people, it's not bluffing.
"These are people who go home and the next day we need to make sure that we have the money to pay their salaries. You're not bluffing when you are putting on the line so many employees between everybody. We have to be concerned about that. We have people who have mortgages, we have people who have to send children to school.
"We are not bluffing. As I say, we don't want any war, we want stability in order to have a long term Formula One engagement. This is what we want. We don't want anything special, we just want stability, just stability."
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali echoed Briatore's comments that he was keen for a solution to be found - and insisted that his team was not contracted to race in F1 next year by agreements it had in place with the FIA and Formula One Management.
"We had an agreement with the FIA but we felt that the obligations inside that agreement were breached, so the agreement is not anymore valid," said Domenicali. "We have put our entry in together with other competitors with the condition that we think is important to respect for the future of Formula 1.
"If I may take the opportunity to say that I think it is important at this moment to be constructive. There is no-one that wants to have any fight with anyone because this is not, at least on our side, the position that we want to take. It is a moment where we genuinely need to find a solution.
"We are here in Formula One for 60 years. We behave with a lot of responsibility to make sure that the values of Formula 1 will remain and this is the reason why we feel that it is important to look at this condition. This is the approach that we have taken together with FOTA.
"Do not underestimate that this year with FOTA we have already achieved a lot of cost saving measures without anyone that was requesting us as we know what is the environment around. But stability, governance, rules and the way to change them, these are crucial points to the future of Formula 1. We want to work together to try to find a way out of this moment which is really not good for Formula 1."
Force India and Williams have already announced that they plan to enter next year's championship whatever the regulations are.