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article imageThe sport of Formula 1 is in danger of splitting into two.

By Julian Worker     Jun 19, 2009 in Sports
Formula 1 has been around since 1950, but it seems increasingly likely that the 2010 season could be the most difficult in the sport's history.
On June 19th, 2009, following a meeting of the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA), it has been announced that all eight teams belonging to the association intend to form a breakaway series in 2010. BMW Sauber, Brawn GP, Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull Racing, Renault, Toro Rosso, and Toyota will not be in Formula 1 next season.
The sport’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), had issued a deadline of June 19th for BMW Sauber, Brawn GP, McLaren, Renault, and Toyota to agree to enter, unconditionally, the 2010 Formula 1 season. The FIA believe that the other three FOTA members, Ferrari, Red Bull, and Toro Rosso are already contracted to enter the 2010 F1 season.
These three teams could face legal proceedings from Bernie Ecclestone who has indicated he will sue should the teams withdraw from Formula 1. These proceedings might mean that Ferrari won’t be allowed to race in any breakaway series, instantly reducing the attractiveness of that series to TV companies and race tracks around the world.
The schism started when the head of the FIA, Max Mosley, unilaterally announced the introduction of a voluntary £40million budget cap at the end of April without consulting FOTA. The FIA want to introduce the budget cap to encourage new teams to enter Formula 1. Any team operating within the cap would have far greater technical freedom than those continuing with unlimited budgets. However, the richer teams, such as Ferrari, believe that all this will introduce is a two-tier championship. Ferrari also believe that the contract they signed with the FIA in 2005 was invalidated by the FIA when they failed to consult the teams over the new budget cap regulations.
As for Formula 1 in 2010, it currently consists of two existing teams, Williams and Force India, plus the three new teams in US F1, Campos Racing, and the Manor F1 Team.
Another potential Formula 1 team, Lola, announced on June 17th that they didn’t wish to enter Formula 1 for the 2010 season and it seems likely they will now join the FOTA teams, as will another team called Prodrive, in any breakaway series that materialises.
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