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Carmakers can go it alone: Renault boss
February 02, 2005 10:20 IST
Formula One carmakers are prepared to set up their own championship without Ferrari if need be, Renault team president Patrick Faure said on Tuesday.
"If necessary, we will create our own championship. We can," he told reporters at the launch of the team's 2005 challenger. "We have nine teams and there is one on the other side."
Ferrari last month broke ranks with the Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC) group set up by carmakers planning for a possible rival series after an existing commercial agreement expires at the end of 2007.
The Italian team, winners of the constructors' championship for the past six years, have instead agreed unilaterally to extend the 'Concorde Agreement' until 2012.
That decision prompted the three remaining GPWC members -- BMW, Mercedes and Renault -- to join up with Toyota and Honda in a united declaration of principles for the future.
They pointed out then that they could each supply another team, ensuring a grid of 20 cars without Fiat-owned Ferrari, although few in Formula One expect it to come to that.
Team boss Frank Williams said on Monday that he expected "commonsense will prevail" and there to be just one championship after 2007.
The divide in the sport was further highlighted last week when only Ferrari turned up for a meeting called by the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) to discuss possible rule changes after 2008.
FIA president Max Mosley, a Monaco resident, attended Tuesday's launch in the Mediterranean principality's Grimaldi centre and both Faure and Renault team boss Flavio Briatore welcomed his presence.
Faure said, however, that they and the other eight teams would not be hurried into any decision about the future.
"The only thing that I'm sure of is that for the moment nothing is clear about what is going to happen in 2008," he said.
"So let's clarify what is going to happen, what sort of championship we'll have and then we'll discuss the participation of Renault, Honda, Ferrari or whoever.
"The other nine teams are clearly united on principles and we are not going to compromise on this," said Faure.
"It's quite courageous to say that you will renew the Concorde Agreement with only one team. I find that fantastically humourous."
Although Honda and Toyota have not formally joined the GPWC, Faure suggested their reticence was more a question of form than substance.
"I have the impression that they want to join something new that will be created and not something existing already," said the Frenchman.
"We are discussing with them at the moment to create something new, working the five of us together to have our ideas coming into reality.
"We are very much in line with the Japanese companies, we have no problems there."
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