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After a lengthy meeting last night to discuss the FIA’s compromise offer, all eight teams comprising FOTA have voted to set up the new breakaway series that has been threatened for the past year.

Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, BMW, Sauber, Toyota, Brawn, Red Bull and Scuderia Toro Rosso have decided they cannot accept the compromises offered by Max Mosley and are now preparing for the establishment of the breakaway series.

The implications of this decision are obviously massive, the establishment of a new series is a substantial undertaking and the logistics of the current Formula 1 series is simply the largest for any sport in the world. FOTA now have to go from ground zero to that scale in far less than a year.

After the recent announcement of the three new teams to enter the F1 Championship – Campos Grand Prix, Manor Grand Prix, Team US F1 -- it leaves just Williams and Force India as the established teams in F1.

Williams use a Toyota-sourced engine and Force India the Mercedes unit. Depending on the individual contracts, these two teams may find they will need to move to the Cosworth unit that the new entries will be using.

Lola recently also announced it had withdrawn its request for entry into the F1 series, and given that within the statement issued by FOTA after the meeting that they will actively encourage other teams, we may yet see Lola and Prodrive/Aston Martin racing against Ferrari in a Grand Prix series.

Bernie Ecclestone has issued a warning saying that he will actively sue any breakaway series that tries to sign TV rights.

The battles are about to commence… unfortunately for some time they will be fought in the courtroom.

Official FOTA Press Release

19 June, 2009

Silverstone, 18 June 2009 - Since the formation of FOTA last September the teams have worked together and sought to engage the FIA and commercial rights holder, to develop and improve the sport.

Unprecedented worldwide financial turmoil has inevitably placed great challenges before the F1 community.  FOTA is proud that it has achieved the most substantial measures to reduce costs in the history of our sport.   

In particular the manufacturer teams have provided assistance to the independent teams, a number of which would probably not be in the sport today without the FOTA initiatives.  The FOTA teams have further agreed upon a substantial voluntary cost reduction that provides a sustainable model for the future.

Following these efforts all the teams have confirmed to the FIA and the commercial rights holder that they are willing to commit until the end of 2012.   

The FIA and the commercial rights holder have campaigned to divide FOTA.  

The wishes of the majority of the teams are ignored. Furthermore, tens of millions of dollars have been withheld from many teams by the commercial rights holder, going back as far as 2006. Despite this and the uncompromising environment, FOTA has genuinely sought compromise.

It has become clear however, that the teams cannot continue to compromise on the fundamental values of the sport and have declined to alter their original conditional entries to the 2010 World Championship.

These teams therefore have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new Championship which reflects the values of its participants and partners.  This series will have transparent governance, one set of regulations, encourage more entrants and listen to the wishes of the fans, including offering lower prices for spectators worldwide,   partners and other important stakeholders.   

The major drivers, stars, brands, sponsors, promoters and companies historically associated with the highest level of motorsport will all feature in this new series. 

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