The eight dissident Formula One teams still actively involved in the FOTA set-up have raised the stakes in their battle with the sport's governing body, by claiming that FIA permanent representative Alan Donnelly has been trying to drive a wedge between them.
According to Reuters
, which has seen a letter addressed by the teams to FIA president Max Mosley, Donnelly stands accused of trying to cause confusion in the ranks by spreading misinformation about the state of the union.
"It was apparent during the Turkish Grand Prix that several discussions were held between the aforementioned person and several Formula One team representatives with a clear intention to create division between the FOTA teams by misrepresenting the positions of those teams," the letter, signed by all eight FOTA team principals, claimed.
Former MEP Donnelly acts as Mosley's representative at races where the president is unable, or chooses not, to attend, overseeing the race stewards and their decisions regarding penalties. With the FIA-FOTA row over the future direction, and governance, of F1 reaching new heights in recent days, the teams are concerned that Donnelly may be handily, and unfairly, positioned in his current role to affect the balance of power.
"This situation raises serious doubts on the autonomy of the judicial functions from the executive functions of the FIA, [which] need to be separated for a proper governance of the federation," the letter continued, "In the FIA's role as regulator, it is imperative that the chairman of the stewards remains totally impartial and we therefore respectfully request that these roles are separated."
The FIA responded to the criticism by claiming that it 'utterly rejected the suggestion made by FOTA'.