Whitmarsh: FOTA must work together with Bernie to ensure that F1’s future is bright

Martin Whitmarsh has insisted that the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) will do all it can to work constructively with Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula One Group.

Last week, Ecclestone launched a verbal attack on FOTA, telling Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport that there was no room for the organisation in Formula One.

However, Whitmarsh, who is current chairman of FOTA as well as team principal at McLaren, does not want there to be any tension between both sides and is hopeful that the teams will be able to work with the sport’s commercial rights holder.
“The intelligent thing is that we work on improving the sport together and it needs the governing body, the competitors and the commercial rights holder to co-operate,” Whitmarsh is quoted as saying by Crash.net. “Now, there won’t always be everything that we agree upon, but I don’t think we’re trying to compete, fight… we’re really trying to find ways in which we can work together.

“Now it’s difficult enough to have the teams working together. I think what FOTA has been able to achieve so far has been outstanding. I think FOTA demonstrated fantastic compromise between all of the teams, for what it’s achieved so far, in terms of cost-saving, facilitating the championship, helping some teams to be here that wouldn’t otherwise be here. So I think that there’s a list of achievements.

“I think we’re now trying to understand how we can engage with fans, how we can demonstrate that is far from perfect, as we all know here, but underlying it is all the things we talked about earlier on, the great commitment within the teams, people that work in the sport, the passion that exists here to try and win.

“I think we’re looking forward to working with Bernie, not slugging it out with him, and making the sport better.”