Williams break FOTA ranks to lodge entry

Williams have broken FOTA unity to lodge an entry to the 2010 F1 world championship. The independent team announced their entry this morning to Reuters, while committing themselves to the entity and to further negotiation about the controversial budget cap.

“The unity of FOTA is of paramount importance to Williams,” said CEO Adam Parr. “Yesterday we joined the other members of FOTA in writing to the FIA (International Automobile Federation) to request a continuing effort to find a compromise concerning the regulations for 2010. We believe that under the leadership of (Ferrari president Luca) di Montezemolo and (Toyota motorsport president) John Howett, FOTA has extracted some very significant concessions from the FIA.”

“These include not only the procedural aspects of the budget cap but also other elements that will enable the higher budget teams to participate.

“Having said that, Williams has — and has always maintained — that we have a binding contract with both FOM (Ecclestone’s Formula One Management) and the FIA to participate in the world championship from 2008 to 2010.”

He added: “We have been paid in full for our participation and we feel both morally and legally obliged to make it clear that we will participate in Formula One in the future as we have in the past 30 years. We owe this to our employees, our sponsors and the fans, all of whom are affected by statements that the teams may not enter next year’s championship.”

“We will continue to work within FOTA and with FOM and FIA to find a compromise but no one should be in any doubt about our commitment to the FIA F1 world championship.”