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Bernie sees no quick fix for crisis

MOST current Formula One teams are unlikely to submit entries for next year's championship by a May 29 deadline, commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said yesterday.

"We'll have to wait and see. I think the majority probably won't put an entry in," he said at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Toyota, champion Ferrari, Renault and the two Red Bull teams have all threatened to walk away unless the 2010 regulations, which include an optional 40 million pound (US$63.18 million) budget cap, are rewritten.

Ecclestone doubted there would be any easy solution to a crisis that threatens to tear the sport apart and Toyota motorsport director John Howett said his team could not enter until a number of issues had been resolved.

"There is a high probability that we won't enter before the deadline because I don't think that those items will be clarified," he said. "If nothing changes I don't think that professionally it is possible to commit the company to do that. I can't recommend that in my position."

Although FIA president Max Mosley and Ecclestone have said they expect all teams to compete under the same regulations, the cap would give those teams accepting it greater technical freedom than others remaining on unrestricted budgets.

Ferrari says the budget cap and the sort of new entrants attracted by it would reduce Formula One, the pinnacle of motorsport, to the level of a junior series. The Italian glamour team failed to secure an injunction in a French court on Wednesday to stop the FIA introducing the changes.

"We don't want to lose Ferrari," Ecclestone said. "I hope it's unlikely. I don't want them leaving. I don't think anybody does."

Howett said Toyota needed guarantees.

"With the investment we have and the social responsibility, we need at least a three year vision of what we are participating in and what the future is and how it can be redefined," he added.


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