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GP Week : Issue 49
> F1NEWS> Drivers unite behind FOTA Was a race boycott averted in Turkey after Driver’s meeting? FORMULA 1’s drivers have aligned themselves with the remaining (eight) FOTA teams, pledging their allegiance to their paymasters, following a face-to- face meeting between all eight team bosses and all of their drivers at the Turkish Grand Prix. The meeting, which took place on Sunday morning, resulted in rumours circulating the paddock that Formula 1 was set to see a boycott of the Grand Prix by the FOTA teams, in a move that would have brought back memories of the 2005 US Grand Prix at Indianapolis in which all Michelin-shod teams pulled out after the formation lap. It was thought that a boycott might be FOTA’s only remaining ace in their game of cards with the FIA, having played their hand in submitting a block entry and thus leaving FIA President Max Mosley holding the advantage, as a Grand Prix including none of the FOTA teams would have been the perfect visual demonstration of what would be left of F1 should FOTA’s entry to the 2010 championship be rejected. In the end, he rumoured boycott never arose and after the race GPDA director Mark Webber spoke of what had occurred at the morning’s FOTA meeting. “Well, FOTA were very good this morning,” he told GPWeek. “They called in all the drivers with the FOTA teams just to give us a heads up and bring us right up to speed because obviously the circumstances out there in relation to the sport are changing pretty quickly. So for us to go there and listen to all the team principals and all the people making decisions for their own teams, to talk to the drivers who have been with them for a long time in certain situations, and our position is that we are totally in support of FOTA. All the FOTA drivers are with FOTA in the future. “We want to race against the best drivers in the world; we want to drive for the best teams in the world and that’s the way we want to see it go forward. “We hope there is a … not a compromise – whatever they need to do to work with the FIA to have a very, very good championship next year and that’s it, really. “We’re very, very confident and we’re trusting the FOTA teams and they are absolutely binding together, they are so strong together and this is what we’re very happy about because this is what it needs to bring the governance of the sport in the correct fashion that we need to go forward.” With the leading drivers now aligned strongly behind FOTA, the risk of losing the world’s best driver talent to a breakaway championship may yet be another strong weapon in FOTA’s armoury. We want to race against the best drivers in the world; we want to drive for the best teams in the world and that’s the way we want to see it go forward. Mark Webber on the FOTA/FIA battle