FOTA forced to pull out, says Theissen
20 June 2009 – Mario Theissen has explained that the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) was given no option but to pull out of the sport at the end of this season. Dr. Theissen, team principal of BMW, stressed that the group has tried its upmost to find a positive conclusion to the ongoing issue with the FIA but was forced to pull the last straw on Thursday evening.
With eight current teams now looking to leave Formula One, the FIA has responded by announcing that it is to launch instant legal action against the group. "The FOTA teams endeavoured to the very end to reach an agreement, but regrettably the FIA refused to back down from its rigid position, insisting that the teams must first sign up before there could be any negotiations on the rules - this was unacceptable to us," said Theissen.
"FOTA, therefore, has no choice but to press ahead with preparations for an alternative championship; in the series organised by FOTA, the best drivers and the best teams will compete against each other. This will take place within a stable set of regulations and a transparent management structure. We will also take into account the wishes of the fans, who have lent us a great deal of support, particularly in recent weeks."