Martin Whitmarsh insists that the Formula One Teams Association is keen to work with Bernie Ecclestone for the benefit of F1 and doesn't want to get into a slanging match with the commercial rights holder.
Ecclestone was quoted last week in the Italian press as saying that there 'is no space for FOTA' in F1 [See separate story HERE
], which then became a topic of conversation at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix.
Quizzed on the relationship between the teams and Ecclestone at the circuit, Whitmarsh said that FOTA wanted to work together with both the FIA and FOM in order to help the sport to move forwards.
“The intelligent thing is that we work on improving the sport together and it needs the governing body, the competitors and the commercial rights holder to co-operate,” Whitmarsh said. “Now, there won't always be everything that we agree upon, but I don't think we're trying to compete, fight… we're really trying to find ways in which we can work together.
“Now it's difficult enough to have the teams working together. I think what FOTA has been able to achieve so far has been outstanding. I think FOTA demonstrated fantastic compromise between all of the teams, for what it's achieved so far, in terms of cost-saving, facilitating the championship, helping some teams to be here that wouldn't otherwise be here. So I think that there's a list of achievements.
“I think we're now trying to understand how we can engage with fans, how we can demonstrate that Formula One can be a socially responsible sport as well, that we've got a lot more work to do and Formula One is far from perfect, as we all know here, but underlying it is all the things we talked about earlier on, the great commitment within the teams, people that work in the sport, the passion that exists here to try and win.
“I think we're looking forward to working with Bernie, not slugging it out with him, and making the sport better.”