Martin Whitmarsh has defended the decision of FOTA members to agree unilaterally to commercial terms offered by Formula 1 commercial manager Bernie Ecclestone, even though he originally pushed hard for teams to stick together on the subject.
Before Ferrari and Red Bull quit the organzation at the end of last year, FOTA was determined that its members remained united to give themselves a better bargaining position against Ecclestone.
In an email that Whitmarsh sent to FOTA members at the end of 2010, he wrote: "If the teams are able to reach an agreement on distribution we will undoubtedly, collectively be able to secure a more favorable overall total for the teams.
"Each team of course has its own views on what it might be able to negotiate individually and it may be that in particular circumstances individual teams may be able to secure favourable arrangements. There is little doubt however, that in so doing, such actions would limit the total distribution and in all probability reduce the individual distribution to each team."
That unified push became impossible once Ferrari and Red Bull set about negotiating their own terms, however, and FOTA chairman Whitmarsh explained in Malaysia that there was little point in his outfit holding out alone under such circumstances.
"The majority of the teams are finding an agreement and you can either stick your head in the sand or say let's find an agreement," explained Whitmarsh when asked about the reasons behind McLaren's decision to agree a deal. We're having constructive dialogue now, which we weren't having a few weeks ago."
Whitmarsh believes that Ecclestone elected to go public with the progress of his negotiations because he wanted to highlight how much progress was being made.
"I think Bernie wants to deliver a positive news message for F1," he said. "At the moment the fact that we're probably not in the middle of a war with each other is good news for Formula 1.
"There are positives, clearly – we've had two great championships and I think we'll have another, and that entertainment counts for a lot. We have to try a lot to attack costs in Formula 1, but we still have a lot of work to do and I believe we still today have a number of teams here that don't have a viable long-term business model.
"We have to continue to work together to make sure we have sustainable business models for the majority of the teams in Formula 1."