JANUARY 10, 2011
HRT kicked out of FOTA?
Hispania Racing has confirmed it is no longer a member of the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) but there are conflicting reports about the way in which the split happened.
According to a spokesperson for the team, speaking to The F1 Times, "I am able to confirm we have left FOTA in December. Hispania Racing wish FOTA the best in the future. But it made no sense for a small team as we are, because of the politics.”
But sources from other teams have told us that Jose Carabante's team was expelled from the association for failing to pay the yearly fee of 100,000 euros at the end of 2010.
This is the first defection from the group that represents teams in F1, and some are speculating that Bernie Ecclestone might have played a role, as he has been close with the situation of the team since Adrian Campos sold out, and Colin Kolles was brought in to run the team.
Now that the FIA is working well together with the teams, FOM his being pressured from both sides to increase the prize money for the teams, as well as renegotiate the commercial rights fees with the FIA - as these were giving on very favourable terms to Ecclestone by the FIA under the leadership of Max Mosley.
HRT's defection could signal the start of the weakening of FOTA, and could break the teams' unanimity - which can only help Ecclestone in future negotiations.
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