Q & A with Mario Theissen

As Formula 1 tries to focus back on racing in Turkey, the sport continues to be overshadowed by the political war between the FIA and FOTA

Q & A with Mario Theissen

With Max Mosley not ready to bow to demands by the teams, the weekend looks set for more controversy.

AUTOSPORT heard from BMW boss Mario Theissen, who gave the teams' view on the matter.

Q. Max Mosley has said to FOTA that you can basically go off and have a good time by doing your own series. What do you say to that?

Mario Theissen: It sounds attractive, to have a good time. At the moment, we don't have it!

Q.Have you read what he said?

MT: No, I haven't heard it. And we have not had an official response from the FIA.

Q. And that is the next step, awaiting a response from the FIA?

MT: Yes.

Q. And have they indicated when that might be?

MT: No.

Q. Will you get one before June 12?

MT: We will see.

Q. Was the block entry submitted in such a way that it cannot be split at all?

MT: No, we have made clear that we want to enter as all the FOTA teams.

Q. But Ferrari has a different contractual arrangement with the FIA and FOM. So they are stuck between a rock and a hard place aren't they?

MT: I think that it would be good if you asked Ferrari about their opinion on that.

Q. You submitted your applications as conditional. Was that suggested by the FIA, or was it something that FOTA decided to do unilaterally?

MT: When we had the meeting with Max [Mosley] in Monaco, it was his idea to put in a conditional entry.

Q. So it would be difficult for the FIA to come back, therefore, and say you are in breach of the rules?

MT: It would be a surprise.

Q. Are you more optimistic or less optimistic about finding a solution that you were after the Monaco weekend?

MT: I said after the meeting in Monaco that the situation is difficult, it is critical and it is not solved yet, and the same applies today.

Q. It seems that there are potentially 10 new teams having lodged entries, and with Williams that makes 11. The FIA could easily turn around next Friday and say we already have enough new teams, we don't need you guys.

MT: I can only say that we are waiting for a reply and a response from the FIA, and only then we will decide what to do about it.

Q. So there is a possibility that FOTA could run their own championship, given Max's suggestion this week?

MT: We are now really committed to find a solution with the FIA to go forward together. That is all I want to say at this point of time.

Q. How is unity at FOTA bearing out? We already see that Williams has been suspended.

MT: I think so far yes. What we have to wait for now is the FIA position, and then that will be the proof.

Q. Did it surprise you that Williams went ahead and did their own thing?

MT: Not the way it went. They did not take it easy, and apparently they had some strong reasons to do it. And their press statement - it was not saying that we have parted from FOTA, but we have been temporarily suspended which is understandable. So it didn't look like a move that they took on their own.

Q. There are suggestions that the Concorde Agreement that has been presented to the FIA is 500 pages long. Is that correct?

MT: I have to say that I don't know the exact volume, but the pages relevant to the cooperation between the FIA and the teams are definitely less. The entire document could be as much as that.

Q. I understand that FOTA had a teleconference call yesterday to discuss progress of the talks. Are there more meetings planned for this weekend?

MT: Maybe, but there is currently nothing scheduled for this weekend.

Q. Pending an FIA response...

MT: Yes. We would be ready to sit down immediately.

Q.If Max goes with the 10 new teams and Williams, what happens to you guys after June 12? Is there still scope for negotiation beyond that?

MT: That is not in my hands. I can only say we are open, we are ready to talk and find a solution.

Q. But within FOTA you must have discussed possibilities beyond June 12. You guys are forward thinking?

MT: Within FOTA yes.

Q. So what is the plan?

MT: I cannot talk about it. I cannot give you any indication, but I can only say we are fully focused on coming to a solution with the FIA now for next year.

Q. So what happens after June 12?

MT: That depends more on the FIA than us.

Q. So you are saying it is a one-way street - you are focusing on a solution that may not be accepted from the other direction?

MT: Yes. That is something which is not in our hands. June 12th is not a deadline from our side.

Q. But the June 11 was stated as a date when the Concorde Agreement needed to be signed?

MT: Yes.

Q. So is that a deadline?

MT: I cannot comment on that.

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