SILVERSTONE // Max Mosley would rather talk to the Formula One teams than endure a court battle to resolve the future of the sport. The president of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) is still convinced agreement can be reached to end the long-running row over new regulations and cost-cutting measures for next year's championship and beyond, which has led to the threat of a breakaway championship.
Mosley met team bosses before yesterday's grand prix in a renewed effort to strike a deal. The FIA have launched legal action to prevent the eight members of the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) from going ahead with their threat to pull out and start a new rival series. But Mosley said: "I think we would rather talk than litigate. I think we are very close to an agreement. " I think what divides us and the teams is minimal and really is something that we could sit down and iron out very quickly and we said to them we are ready to do this.
"It will all be back to normal, it's just a question of when. We've now reached a point where all that needs to happen is someone sitting down and agreeing the mechanism of the cost reduction." The FOTA members, led by Ferrari, McLaren Mercedes and Renault, are willing to have more talks, but Ross Brawn, owner of Brawn GP, said they are also pushing ahead with proposals for the breakaway series. Luca di Montezemolo, the Ferrari president and FOTA chairman, and Renault chief Flavio Briatore will be key to whether the situation can be resolved.
And, despite a reference to "loonies" within the FOTA camp, Mosley added: "The way that came about is that we divide the teams into two camps, which are the moderates, who want to talk and want a settlement, and what we call the loonies who appear not to want a settlement. "It's more of a jokey reference than anything else. I don't think they are literally loonies, but I think they are a little bit immoderate in their approach.
"Montezemolo and I have known each other nearly 40 years and I get along with him fine on a personal level, and Flavio is great on a personal level, but obviously sometimes when you have got something as complex as Formula One, you can have disagreements about how things operate within the sport." Only five teams have been entered officially for next year's championship, with only Williams and Force India of the teams having submitted an unconditional entry, new entries had been accepted from Team US F1, Campos Grand Prix and Manor Grand Prix.