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Ezpeleta plays down F1 link

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has denied reports that suggested he could become embroiled in the ongoing battle between the Formula One Teams Association and the FIA.

FOTA is presently locked in battle with the FIA over the future of Formula One with only two teams, Williams and Force India, having submitted an unconditional entry into next year's F1 World Championship.

The pair have now been suspended from FOTA as a result, and while the other eight teams have lodged conditional entries, those entries are reliant on plans for the introduction of a £40 million budget cap being scrapped.

Should the FIA and FOTA not reach an agreement, reports have suggested that a 'breakaway' championship could be formed by the eight rebel teams; Ferrari, McLaren, Toyota, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, BMW Sauber, Renault and Brawn.

With the 2010 F1 entry list due to published on Friday, time is fast running out to reach an agreement and the threat of a breakaway series appeared to be given added credibility when the Spanish press reported that FOTA had approached Ezpeleta to run a possible rival championship.

However this, like last month's reports that Ferrari was willing to offer Valentino Rossi a drive in a breakaway series, could arguably be seen as an attempt by FOTA to strengthen its bargaining hand against the FIA - and Ezpeleta has responded to the reports by denying that he has any intention to do anything outside of MotoGP.

A source who has worked closely with Ezpeleta told Crash.net that this was no surprise since the Spaniard admires Bernie Ecclestone and would never want to go up against him. The Englishman also helped Ezpeleta regain control of Dorna, which runs MotoGP, when IRTA (International Road Racing Teams Association) attempted a breakaway in the mid-1990s.

For his part, Ezpeleta - then director of the Jarama track - had backed Ecclestone during the FOCA/FISA F1 battle, by ordering the Guardia Civil to escort FISA officials from the start line and eventually from the track at the 1980 Spanish Grand Prix.

Meanwhile, whilst the chances of Ezpeleta running any F1 breakaway fade, two other Spaniards appear to have joined FOTA's list of potential candidates.

Jaime Alguersuari, father of the Renault World Series driver of the same name, who is a publisher in Spain and has organised the Dakar, World Series and many top level Spanish motorsports events has now been linked to the initiative, along with Juan Pareja, involved in the past with GT, GT Open and Formula 3.

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scott22neale - Unregistered

June 09, 2009 8:27 PM

Well in my opinion he's ruined moto gp, so who better to have a crack at running a sport thats already (in my opinion) been ruined by someone else with similar ideas. I say give leadership to someone with the real interests of the sport at heart, say a team boss like briatore or williams, or better yet bring back Ron Dennis to run the show !

EnochRoot - Unregistered

June 09, 2009 5:28 PM

I'm with you there, but the majority of F1 teams (at least current ones that we know really CAN turn up in Melbourne and race) seem to feel that the ball park is WAY too small. They keep on saying as much, yet the rulemakers seem either incapable or unwilling to listen. If I were in the teams' shoes, I dare say I'd be rather ticked off too!

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