F1 Set to Split, Says Stoddart

Formula One is definitely heading for a breakaway series in 2008 following the latest rounds of talks between the manufacturers

That is the view of Minardi boss Paul Stoddart, who claims that the sport's worst fears are going to be realised when the manufacturers launch their rebel series in three years' time.

"I think we are heading now sadly to two series," said Stoddart, who was present at a recent meeting held by the manufacturers' group in Munich. "It is looking increasingly more obvious.

"The manufacturers have made a very clear statement that they want a fair and equitable Formula One. I would say we agree with that statement and I would say that is going to give rise to the two championships which everybody fears.

"I can't see Max Mosley backing down and equally I can't see the manufacturers backing down, so I suppose the net result of that is that there will be most likely two series in 2008 and hopefully that will provide an opportunity for me to come back."

Stoddart will be out of Formula One at the end of this year when his team's takeover by Red Bull is complete. However, he has suggested that his future return will be in the manufacturers' championship rather than F1 itself.

"There is no question about that. It's probably not a good time for me to get too political but I find it hard to stand by and say nothing.

"Throughout the first half of this year I was quite boisterous about wanting reform and change. You will notice all of this went quiet around Silverstone when I gave diplomacy a chance.

"Quite clearly that diplomacy has failed miserably and as a result of that we are now faced with what is our ultimate fear, which is two championships. You get to the point where that becomes inevitable, there's no point fighting it any longer you may as well just get on with it.

"If there is two championships I would love to come back in."

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