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Mosley hints at deal to stop rival series

FIA President Max Mosley said yesterday a deal is close to prevent eight Formula One teams forming a rival series and that legal action would be frozen to encourage a resolution.

Motorsport's governing body had said that proceedings would be issued without delay after the Formula One Teams Association decided to split on Friday when talks broke down to resolve a dispute over a voluntary 40 million pound (US$65 million) budget cap from next year.

But Mosley said at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone that progress has been made.

"There won't be any writ. I think we would rather talk than litigate," Mosley said. "We are very, very close as far as the facts are concerned. It's just if the teams want to sit down and iron out the last few difficulties."

The teams are McLaren, Ferrari, Renault, BMW Sauber, Toyota, Brawn GP, Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso.

Mosley recognizes the need for a swift resolution, echoing McLaren chief Martin Whitmarsh's declaration on Saturday that any deal must come by the end of July.

"I would agree with that," Mosley said. "If this goes on for any length of time, it damages the teams. It doesn't affect the FIA, it damages the teams because it affects their sponsors."

Bernie Ecclestone, F1's commercial rights holder, was happy at news of an agreement being close. "If Max says (a deal) is close, then that's good," he said.

In another twist to the dispute, Brawn GP team principal Ross Brawn said if a resolution is not possible then FOTA could possibly make FIA take charge of its proposed series since it would come under its jurisdiction.

"You would need a regulatory body," Brawn said. "Ironically, I think the agreement with the European Commission is that the FIA has to offer to do that to any competitive series that wants to set up.

"So, the FIA have to offer to at least be the regulatory body, but they may not be the body that sets the rules. The rules can be determined by some other mechanism."


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