”F1 came inches from split”

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It has been claimed Formula 1 came inches from disaster last week at the FIA World Council meeting when the seven Michelin teams “agreed privately” that they would quit the sport if given bans for not participating in the Indy grand prix…

The Times newspaper claimed today that the seven teams got together before the meeting and agreed that if they were given race bans for not competing at Indianapolis they would quit the sport and start a rival series right away.

It claims Ferrari, Jordan, and perhaps Red Bull (who are to be powered by Ferrari in 2006) would have been left behind and it said Minardi boss Paul Stoddart had revealed it would have got going in January 2006 with a race staged “within weeks”.

With Stoddart announcing yesterday he will quit the sport at the end of this year if Max Mosely doesn’t resign, it looks like plans for the recently forgotten about GPWC (Grand Prix World Championship, run by the car makers) are quickly being pushed onwards.

“It has come down to the teams versus Mr Mosely,” Sir Frank Williams told The Guardian, “who is an extremely competent political fox with great power.”