FOTA clarifies Ecclestone meeting row

The Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) has made it clear it stands behind the views of its representatives following a meeting with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone last week

FOTA clarifies Ecclestone meeting row

Ecclestone met with Toyota's John Howett, Renault's Flavio Briatore and McLaren's Ron Dennis to discuss the payment of money owed by the sport's commercial rights holders, represented by Ecclestone.

According to a report in The Times newspaper, Dennis and Briatore allegedly threatened not to send their cars to Melbourne for the first race of the season if the money was not paid.

Ecclestone told The Times earlier this week that Briatore said: "We're not going to put our cars on the plane, we're not going to Melbourne."

Ecclestone added: "If they come in here with a gun to my head, they had better be sure they can f***ing pull the trigger. And they should make sure it's got bullets in it because, if they miss, they better look out."

On Thursday, FOTA issued a statement aimed at clarifying the story and showing unity between the teams, saying all F1 squads supported the views presented during the meeting.

"FOTA wish to clarify the situation regarding remarks that have been widely reported in the last few days concerning a meeting between members of FOTA and the Commercial Rights Holder," the teams' body said in the statement.

"The meeting, which took place in London on March 18, involved John Howett, the Vice President of FOTA, Flavio Briatore in his capacity as chairman of the Commercial Working Group of FOTA and Ron Dennis as a member of the Executive Committee of FOTA as well as Bernie Ecclestone, the Commercial Rights Holder. The FOTA representatives presented the unified views of all FOTA members.

"The purpose of the meeting was to discuss payment of money owed by CVC (the effective owners of the commercial rights to Formula One) to the teams and relates to agreed sums owing from the 2006, 2007 and 2008 championship years.

"FOTA are committed to accelerate the signing of the new Concorde Agreement and, as part of the conditions necessary to obtain the signatures of all the teams, it was necessary to reach a conclusion to this outstanding matter.

"During the discussions, any position stated by the members of FOTA who were present was supported by all members."

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