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Former World Champion Jackie Stewart believes FOTA's Friday announcement to withdraw from Formula One at the end of the year may spark panic for both the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone, commercial rights holder of the sport. The Scot, who has said that Friday's outcome was a long time coming, is sure that the dispute does not stop here.
With eight of the current ten teams possibly leaving Formula One at the end of the season, Williams and Force India would be, under current circumstances, the only two teams remaining in the World Championship. "The biggest player now that may have to be involved in this is Bernie because, after all, he has the commercial rights," three-time Champion Stewart said in reaction to the news at Silverstone on Friday. "I am sure he does not want a breakaway group, because then that would seriously threaten CVC (Ecclestone's company behind F1) and the Bernie Ecclestone package.
"Bernie knows how to do things; he has been very successful in F1 and the sport has been successful with much of what he has done, so he will be playing a fairly big role within the next two or three days. Frankly now, the teams have made their decision and I don't think they will necessarily have to talk to the FIA at all this weekend - I think they should just get on with the British Grand Prix because it is one of the biggest events on the calendar."
With the FIA officially reacting 'disappointed but not surprised' on hearing the news, Stewart - who believed that the federation's president, Max Mosley, should have been outsted following his widespread media scandal last year - continued: "I think it's been coming for some time. I think the teams feel that they have been bullied in some way for quite a long time, trying to force things through; I've said for a long time that the FIA needs to be restructured and there needs to be more corporate governance; if that had taken place we would not be in the position we're in at the present time - I think they do want Max to go because I think, frankly, some of the decisions made over the year have been very questionable. I think a lot of people are kind of fed up with the dictatorial attitude."
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