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Briatore denies plans for rival series after threat

FORMULA One teams want to stay within the framework of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) despite several threats to pull out of next year's championship, Renault team boss Flavio Briatore said.

Talk of a rival series is also premature, the Italian added, after Renault joined Ferrari, Toyota and the Red Bull teams in saying they would not enter the 2010 F1 championship unless new FIA rules on budget caps were abandoned.

The horse trading has already begun before a meeting between the teams, FIA chief Max Mosley and Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone in London today.

"I must be clear that we, Ferrari and the others have no intention of breaking with FIA. We want to be there, to participate, to preserve the future," Briatore told Gazzetta dello Sport yesterday.

"We are proposing logical conditions to Mosley. I want to make it clear that the teams are Formula One, the international federation should simply be the referee. We should write the rules, not have them imposed by Max without speaking to anyone."

Under the 2010 regulations, teams accepting the cap would have far greater technical freedom than those continuing with unlimited budgets in order to level the playing field and encourage new entrants in troubled economic times.

A rival series to Formula One is not yet on the cards.

"It is a remote hypothesis that everyone wants to avoid. We are living in a difficult moment and everyone must find a solution at all costs," Briatore added.

Norbert Haug, motorsport vice-president of McLaren partners Mercedes, did not say his firm would pull out but backed Briatore.

"All teams agree that there cannot be Formula One with two sets of regulations," he told German agency SID.

"It is all about constructive cooperation for a better F1 future with better races at a lower cost."

Ecclestone said Ferrari, which fears a two-tier championship, was the key to F1's future.

"They have been there for 60 years," he told Britain's Daily Telegraph.

"They are partners of ours. They are the people we need to take into consideration. At the moment everyone is hanging on to their apron strings. Sort that out and we will be OK."

Piero Ferrari, son of founder Enzo, ridiculed Mosley's plan.

"It's like soccer. In Italy we have Inter, who are winning, and they spend huge amounts of money for the best players. But in Serie A you also have a team like Catania, who have no money," he told the Guardian.

"So do you say to Catania, 'You can play with 12 players,' and to Inter, 'You must play with nine?' It wouldn't be fair. But this is what the new Formula One rules are like."


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