Williams CEO Adam Parr has said he fears time is running out to find a solution to secure the future of Formula 1 as teams head into their day of crunch meetings in London.
On the back of threats from Ferrari, Toyota, Renault and Red Bul to quit F1 if a two-tier category is introduced next week, team members have begun discussions at London's Heathrow Airport to find a way forward ahead of showdown talks with Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone this afternoon.
Although most team principals were keeping tight-lipped about what they expected from the day, Parr admitted that the situation was very serious.
"I think this is a very important day," he said. "I think everybody feels we need to find a solution that makes sense for independent teams, manufacturers and the FIA – everybody."
When asked about Williams's stance on a budget cap, Parr said: "We have always been in support of a budget cap. You have to remember this was first formally put together in January 2008 in Paris, and we have always said we were in favor, although the level is something we have been flexible on as we recognize other teams are starting from a different point to us.
"We want to make sure we can get where we need in the right timeframe. Unfortunately we had an opportunity 12 months ago to do it in a more flexible and gentle way, and I fear time is running out."
Senior sources within teams have revealed this morning that although the boycott threat was sparked by the possibility of a voluntary budget cap, it is the governance of the sport that is now of bigger concern. One representative from a leading team told AUTOSPORT: "Things have to change."
Interest in today's meeting is huge, with the world's media descending on the hotel to cover events. It is Ferrari's threat to not enter the championship in 2010 that has fueled coverage of the F1 crisis, and a team insider made it clear this morning that the team was not bluffing in its stance. "We are serious," said the source.
Parr added: "I think different teams have different perspectives. For all of us the economic situation is very important but there is no question that for some of the teams it is governance of the sport. The position of FOTA is very important as well."