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F1 split nearing point of no return

FORMULA One may have days rather than weeks to stave off a rival series with teams saying they are already well advanced in their preparations and fast approaching the point of no return.

"I would say very short," Toyota Motorsport President John Howett said when asked after Sunday's British Grand Prix what sort of time was available before the situation became irrevocable.

"If we start with the actions next week, to move from a conceptual discussion to implementation phase, I think we will start to make commitments that then become very difficult to come out of."

Howett, vice-chairman of the Formula One Teams' Association, said a meeting of the governing body's world motorsport council in Paris tomorrow would be important.

FOTA Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, the Ferrari president, will attend that meeting along with International Automobile Federation President Max Mosley, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and national federation representatives.

The eight FOTA teams will then meet on Thursday.

They announced last week that they would begin preparing for their own championship after failing to reach agreement with the FIA on next year's rules.

The FIA wants a budget cap to allow new teams in and to keep others in the sport but FOTA says it can achieve cost cuts by other methods.


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