Formula One teams and the governing body remained locked in combat yesterday after the publication of a controversial 2010 entry list that included all 10 current teams as well as newcomers from the US and Spain.
While stepping back from the brink, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) made clear in a statement that a long-running standoff that has threatened to tear the sport apart over next year’s rules was far from over.
It said that championship leaders Brawn GP, BMW-Sauber, world champion Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren team, Renault and Toyota were only provisional entries and could still be shut out if agreement was not reached by next Friday.
They were “invited to lift their conditions” after further discussions, with other would-be entrants waiting to step in should there be no agreement.
Spain’s Campos Grand Prix, the US F1 and Britain’s Manor Grand Prix were the confirmed newcomers with due diligence still being carried out on others who missed out.
“Our ambition is to first of all prove that we can design and build a car in the United States, as distinct from Europe which is the normal place, and be competing as an American team,” said US F1 director Peter Windsor. “Like everybody else, we hope that it will be one championship.”
Those not selected included Kuwaiti-backed Prodrive, former competitors Lola and others seeking to revive the renowned Brabham and Lotus names.
Former champions Williams and tail-enders Force India, suspended from the teams’ association FOTA for breaking ranks, are the only current teams to have entered unconditionally.
Champions Ferrari and both Red Bull teams were also deemed to be full entries by the FIA in a controversial step after days of feverish speculation about who would be on the list and whether the existing teams might break away.
The three are all members of FOTA, who submitted a joint entry conditional on the 2010 rules being rewritten and a new commercial agreement signed by next Friday.
Ferrari, who had warned the FIA not to include them as an automatic entry and have said they could walk away, reiterated their position in forceful terms after the announcement:
“For the avoidance of any doubt, Ferrari reaffirms that it shall not take part in the 2010 Formula One world championship under the regulations adopted by the FIA in violation of Ferrari’s rights under a written agreement with the FIA,” the Italian team said.
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