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F1 teams 'open' to solution

Friday 02-May-2014 09:36

Formula 1 may have avoided a crisis after F1's smaller teams walked away from Thursday's meeting having agreed to look over a proposal from the Strategy Group.

On Thursday, the 11 teams met with F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt at Biggin Hill airport in London.

The meeting was called after F1's smaller teams wrote a strongly worded letter to Todt having been told that the sport's Strategy Group - comprising Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Lotus and Williams - had put the brakes on a budget cap.

In the letter, the teams stated that the Strategy Group may have breached Europe's competition laws leading to reports that the European Union was "monitoring" the situation.

Kevin Eason from The Times reported that "a full (EU) investigation would throw F1 into turmoil, potentially wrecking agreements and finishing any prospect that the sport could be floated on the Singapore Stock Exchange."

He added that European officials were "showing concern" and had already interviewed "two people close to the sport."

With that threat hanging around, the teams met on Thursday.

According to dpa, although very few details have been released about the "crisis" meeting, a "final solution to the problem seems more open."

The German news agency added that "within the next two weeks" F1's smaller teams would respond to a proposal laid out by the Strategy Group and also draw up their own solutions.

"Force India was very encouraged by the meeting and was appreciative of the FIA (International Automobile Federation) responding so positively to the letter that was sent," that team's deputy principal Bob Fernley told Reuters.

"We are optimistic that following the Biggin Hill meeting a constructive process will now take place."

Autosport earlier reported that the Group has a "three-year cost cutting plan".

It would begin next season with a ban on tyre warmers and simplifying fuel systems, brake ducts and front wings while a year later standard components would be introduced and in 2017 F1 would switch to standard active suspension.

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