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Lotus, Manor get FOTA membership

John BoothThe Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) has approved the membership applications of the Lotus and Manor teams, AUTOSPORT can reveal, meaning the organisation now features every team on the grid.

FOTA's executive committee met earlier this week for its latest discussions about the future of F1, and on the agenda was the ratification of the applications of the two new F1 teams.

Sources have confirmed that both Lotus and Manor's membership was approved unanimously, meaning that the outfits follow fellow new entrants Campos Meta and Team US F1 into the organisation.

The move means that FOTA is now made up of 14 teams - with Toyota still members for now despite its pull-out - and significantly it is the first time since Williams was temporarily suspended in May that the body features every team on the grid.

FOTA's executive committee also confirmed that elections for new chairmen will take place next month, with the mandate of both current chief Luca di Montezemolo, plus vice-chairman John Howett, coming to a finish at the end of the year.

Work is also continuing on plans for a common car launch next year, which the teams are considering doing prior to the first official test of the season in February.

It is understood FOTA representatives met with Bernie Ecclestone and F1 shareholders CVC following this week's meeting to discuss the concept - which is being considered to help reduce costs further.

The issue of the final grid slot was also discussed at the meeting, but there is unlikely to be any final decision about what happens with either Toyota or BMW-Sauber until after the F1 Commission and World Motor Sport Council meetings that take place in Monaco early next month.

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