Force India facing FOTA suspension
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, June 5th 2009, 13:45 GMT|
Force India is facing suspension from the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) amid claims that the outfit has lodged, or is about to lodge, its own official entry to next year's championship.
With Williams having already been suspended for going it alone and entering the 2010 championship, FOTA vice-chairman John Howett said in Turkey on Friday that Force India would face the same punishment if team owner Vijay Mallya confirms that his team has also signed up.
The nine current members of FOTA have lodged a block entry for next year with conditions that a new Concorde Agreement is signed and current planned regulations for 2010 are scrapped.
Although Mallya is not due to arrive in Istanbul until tomorrow, FOTA vice chairman John Howett confirmed that action against the team would only be taken when he had spoken to his fellow team principal face-to-face.
"It is likely they may be suspended," explained Howett. "I haven't really had the opportunity to speak to Vijay directly, but he has committed in accordance with FOTA a conditional entry and apparently, due to commercial issues, totally unrelated to another team or support, they felt obliged because of other binding legal activities due to funding or other issues, they needed to submit an official entry.
"He will be here tomorrow and I will speak to him, and I have to say it is the intention of FOTA to suspend them based on a face-to-face discussion with Vijay. But he has confirmed to me through Bob Fearnley that he is totally supportive and committed to FOTA."
More to follow.