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A reported boycott of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix by the McLaren and Renault teams has been resolved. Formula 1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone apparently leaked the news, which involved the two teams threatening not to attend the event had money not been transferred to them.
The disagreement, also involving Toyota Team Principal John Howett, was described by Ecclestone: "Flavio (Briatore, Team Principal of Renault) said, we're not going to put our cars on the plane to Melbourne. He started it, aided and abetted by Ron Dennis (McLaren Chairman and CEO)," the F1 supremo told The Times, "And poor John was sitting there a bit confused about life in general."
The situation seemingly involves money due to be paid to the teams, but only after the latest Concorde agreement - regulations by which the teams take part in the sport - has been signed. It is believed that Briatore and Dennis threatened that other teams would also pull out of the first race had the money not been paid, although Ecclestone stressed that the Concorde must first by signed by the individual parties before any money changes hands.
"I picked up the phone to our people that handle all the freight to ask them to cancel the aeroplanes," Ecclestone continued. "There were saying all the FOTA-schmota would not go so I said what I'd better do is cancel the aircraft obviously - it costs a fortune to charter those things and almost as much to cancel them."
The issue appears to have been resolved, or at least suspended, as the Renault and McLaren cars have reportedly arrived at the Albert Park circuit this week. Ecclestone continued to say how the delivery and failure to carry out a threat such as this one infuriates him more than if they had done so: "If they come here with a gun and hold it to my head, they had better be sure they can pull the trigger - and they should make sure it's got bullets in it because if they miss, they better watch out."
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