Melbourne could pull out over F1 rows

Australian Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker has warned that the continuing uncertainty over Formula 1's future could see his event withdraw from the schedule

Melbourne could pull out over F1 rows

As the FIA/FOTA row reignited following a disagreement at yesterday's Technical Working Group meeting, Walker said the lingering possibility of a breakaway championship involving most of F1's best-known teams would ba a major issue for the Melbourne organisers.

"If the disunity continues Melbourne will seriously consider its position on continuing with Formula 1," he told Australian newspaper The Age.

"Without Ferrari racing in Melbourne, [the race] will lose much of its glamour and therefore the government investment will come into question."

Walker believes the problems can be solved if Max Mosley follows his originally stated intention to step down from the FIA presidency when his term of office ends. He has hinted that he could be persuaded to stand for re-election if the FIA clubs felt that the body was under attack from the car manufacturers whose teams comprise much of FOTA.

"In my view Mr Mosley should walk away from the sport with dignity rather than slowly strangle to death the great brand of Formula 1," said Walker.

"The sport needs fresh and dynamic leadership more than ever before to lead F1 into a new era of motor racing. Bernie Ecclestone is absolutely trying to be a peacemaker, but if the most successful automotive companies in the world will not agree to the rules laid down by the FIA then that will be the end of it."

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