FIA President Max Mosley has made what could be the last concession to the FOTA teams, as he wrote to them last night.
The Englishman announced that the governance of the sport – one of the issues which FOTA disputes – could be reviewed as part of a longer process of discussion about the future of the sport. But he stressed that such negotiation could only take place if the teams removed their conditional entries by Friday.
“If we start to modify the governance provisions of the 1998 Concorde Agreement, a lengthy discussion will begin,” he wrote. “There is no time left for this because we must answer the remaining applicants for 2010 no later than Friday. Our proposal is therefore that all parties agree to accept the 1998 governance provisions by means of an exchange of letters. We can then negotiate a new 2009 Concorde Agreement under the protection of the 1998 arrangement.
“After all, we lived with these for ten years; a few more weeks or months should not cause any difficulty.”
In the last few days the FIA have been the most vocal of the participants in this conflict, firstly to condemn FOTA’s alleged inconsistency and intransigence, and latterly to cede ground to the teams in the hope of reaching an agreement before Friday. FOTA have been comparatively quiet, but it is thought that a statement will be made today or tomorrow concerning the final outcome.
The FIA are known to have at least two more new teams waiting in the wings to fill the grid should the remaining players not remove their conditional entries.