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German GP chief: 'In the case of a split there are only losers'

The boss of German F1 circuit the Nürburgring has warned the warring FIA and FOTA factions that 'in the case of a split there are only losers', as the two sides' apparent inability to compromise over Max Mosley's controversial budget cap initiative looks in increasing danger of ripping the top flight in two.

The matter came to a head at Silverstone today (Friday), with the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) issuing an inflammatory statement that it intends to follow through with its menace of forming a 'breakaway' series, and the governing body responding several hours later by serving notice of its intent to counter that threat with legal action to prevent the eight dissenting teams from walking away.

“In the case of a split there are only losers,” Nürburgring managing director Walter Kafitz told German news agency SID. “What happened in America (with CART and IRL in the 1990s) is the best example. It is bad for motorsport.

“I only hope now for reason. Formula 1 has stood at the abyss before and nothing happened. There is still much water to flow down the Rhine.”

The Nürburgring is due to play host to the 2009 German Grand Prix next month, as per its alternating contract with Hockenheim, but Kafitz admitted that he is unsure whether the venue's existing agreement with Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Management (FOM) company precludes it from similarly welcoming the separate FOTA championship should that materialise.

“That is a legal question that I have not looked into yet,” he confessed.

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