Montoya: Split would "kill" F1
Juan Pablo Montoya believes a breakaway series would "kill" Formula 1, following FOTA's announcement that it plans to start its own championship in 2010 after failing to reach an agreement with the FIA.
Although the former Williams and McLaren driver believes FOTA starting its own series is a possible scenario, he says that would be the end of F1 as he knows it. Montoya suggested that the only way forward for FOTA to remain aligned with the FIA would be a change governance in the ruling body.
"Making another series? Yeah -- they would kill Formula 1," said Montoya. "If they (FOTA) go, then they would kill Formula 1, but I don't really care. All the manufacturers and everybody is there, you know what I mean?
"I think if they can get Max Mosley out of there, they'd probably stay."
The Colombian believes that all the political battling in Formula 1 can only make other series stronger, as happened in the United States with the Indy car split back in 1996. He says the current crisis between FOTA and the FIA could end up being beneficial to NASCAR.
"I think if anything it will help NASCAR and bring more attention to NASCAR, like when the Indy cars split." said Montoya. "If anybody hasn't seen this live then they should come and watch it, because it gets really exciting."
Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon, who has been a fan of F1 for years, does not see how a split could be good for either FOTA or the FIA, and said he cannot imagine the World Championship being run without the traditional outfits.
"I don't see how you have a Formula 1 series without a Ferrari in it," said Gordon. "I can't imagine the series out there without Ferrari or McLaren or Renault.
"They have so few teams as it is now, I would be very, very disappointed to see that happen. I really hope they get it straightened out. I've never seen that work for any sport out there, and my fingers are crossed that they're going to get together."