Just moments after the conclusion of second free practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the FIA has announced that it will begin legal proceedings against the Formula One Teams Association over its proposal to form a breakaway series to rival F1.
FOTA made the announcement late on Thursday night that it was to start its own series in 2010, having failed to reach an agreement with the FIA to commit to the F1 grid for next season thanks to the ongoing dispute over Max Mosley's idea for a budget cap.
BMW Sauber, Brawn GP, Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull Racing, Toro Rosso, Renault and Toyota all planned to quit F1 as a result of the ongoing dispute but the governing body has now responded with the threat of legal action.
In a short statement, the FIA revealed that the teams – and Ferrari in particular – had contractual commitments to F1 that couldn't broken, leaving it with little option but to begun legal proceedings.
The governing body also confirmed that the publication of the 2010 entry list has also been delayed.
“The FIA's lawyers have now examined the FOTA threat to begin a breakaway series,” the missive read. “The actions of FOTA as a whole, and Ferrari in particular, amount to serious violations of law including wilful interference with contractual relations, direct breaches of Ferrari's legal obligations and a grave violation of competition law. The FIA will be issuing legal proceedings without delay.
“Preparations for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship continue but publication of the final 2010 entry list will be put on hold while the FIA asserts its legal rights.”