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August 2, 2009

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Formula One future secured with Concorde Agreement

THE future of Formula One was secured yesterday after the governing body FIA and the 12 teams signed a new Concorde Agreement to safeguard the sport until 2012.

The agreement ended threats of a breakaway series after weeks of negotiations between the FIA and the Formula One Teams Association.

The document, which outlines how F1 is run and its revenues are distributed, was signed late on Friday.

"Following approval by the World Motor Sport Council, late last night FIA President Max Mosley signed the 2009 Concorde Agreement, heralding a renewed period of stability for the FIA Formula One World Championship," an FIA statement read.

"In addition, as agreed in Paris on 24 June 2009, the teams have entered into a resource restriction agreement, which aims to return expenditure to the levels that prevailed in the early 1990s."

The statement said that WMSC, which has 26 members, had also approved a slightly revised set of stable sporting and technical regulations to apply from the 2010 championship onwards, which had been agreed by the FIA and the teams.

"The new Concorde Agreement provides for a continuation of the procedures in the 1998 Concorde Agreement, with decisions taken by working groups and commissions, upon which all teams have voting rights, before going to the WMSC for ratification," the FIA said.

BMW Sauber, which last Wednesday announced its decision to withdraw from Formula One at the end of the season, is the only team not to have signed the agreement.

Next season's new teams US F1, Campos Meta and Manor Grand Prix are among the 12 to have signed.

The sport's future was originally at risk following an objection by FOTA - made up of eight leading teams, including Ferrari and McLaren - to a budget cap which it felt could lead to a two-tier series with the teams agreeing to the cap being allowed greater technical freedom.

This dispute was averted following a meeting in Paris only for the FOTA teams to walk out of another meeting on July 8 where they had been told they had no voting rights for future proposals as they had not fully entered for 2010.

Mosley has been looking to cut costs since Honda's exit in December, but his proposal to slash budgets to US$60 million by 2010 has been criticized by most teams as being too low.


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