Late July is next crisis deadline – Whitmarsh

Sat, 20 June 2009, 09:57

Jun.20 (GMM) The next deadline in the FIA/FOTA standoff may be several weeks away, according to McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh

His fellow FOTA-affiliated chiefs met again on Saturday to discuss how to proceed in the wake of announcing the decision to plan a breakaway series

But after the FIA postponed for the time being publishing a definitive entry list for the official world championship, many observers are now wondering what time pressure exists for a peace deal to be brokered

On Friday, FIA president Max Mosley predicted the tensions could continue until early 2010, when the first race of next season is looming large

But Whitmarsh said at Silverstone that late July is the key date, and that until then FOTA is “open to finding a solution if we can”

“The teams are ready to discuss with anybody how we go racing next year,” he said

“I think by the end of July, everybody is going be progressively on diverging paths, so whatever separates us today will be greater by then,” Whitmarsh added

The political row had spilled into the grandstands on Saturday, with one group of spectators wearing ‘FOTA rules!’ t-shirts and standing before a huge banner demanding ‘Max out’

But if the breakaway group does split, it seems the rival series would have to make do without many of the current venues, according to the Straits Times newspaper

The publication said Singapore’s five-year contract precludes the Republic negotiating with another series, and that other hosts like Melbourne have similar restrictions

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