FOTA series could attract new teams
The breakaway championship being put together by the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) could be joined by even more teams, with both Campos Racing and Prodrive among outfits strongly linked with the new series.
While discussions about the rival category have focused on the eight current teams, sources suggest that a number of outfits have opened dialogue to find out more about the new championship.
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh confirmed that FOTA was willing to accept more entrants to bolster its grid next year. He was asked specifically about Lola and Prodrive.
"I think that certainly eight teams will be enough, but we would welcome any new teams or existing teams for that matter, and certainly there has been an expression of interest from some of the teams you mentioned," explained Whitmarsh. "I think a lot of teams want to be racing against the Ferraris, against the Red Bulls, the Brawns and hopefully ourselves.
"Formula 1 has not done a good job, in my view, at developing a number of teams that compete, at developing a series that the fans want, and there is a lot opportunity to do a better job – to have some fresh energy.
"While inevitably there is some sadness in a day like today, I think you have to be optimistic about the future. And sometimes out of these challengers are new eras and new opportunities, and we have to be positive.
"We've had already in the last few hours quite a lot of interest from some other teams that want to be part of the new series, and we are going to do everything we can to encourage them to be a part of it. Just as FOTA has already demonstrated its assistance to retaining teams and assisting the independent teams – that has to be part of the ethos of any organization."
The relevance of what the fans want was acknowledged by Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner, who apologized on behalf of the teams for the mess the sport found itself in.
"I only sympathize with the public, who must be as F1 fans confused and to a certain degree dismayed with what is currently going on," Horner said. "We have got a wonderful championship this year and Silverstone's last F1 grand prix and to have politics that quite simply are difficult for the general public to comprehend and understand.
"F1 should be about what happens on the track. It is taking up far too much of not only our time but other people's time."