McLaren and Ferrari would allow BMW-Sauber to enjoy a guaranteed position as Formula One's fourteenth confirmed team in 2010, it has emerged. At Suzuka last weekend, it became clear that Williams is opposing the move to expand next year's grid...
At Suzuka last weekend, it became clear that Williams is opposing the move to expand next year's grid beyond 26 cars.
As allowing Sauber a 14th grid spot would require a change to the confirmed 2010 rules, it means every existing team has veto power.
Williams is once again a member of the FOTA alliance, and the group got together at Suzuka and briefly discussed the issue of BMW-Sauber's 2010 entry.
Deputy John Howett emerged from the meeting and told reporters that it is "not a FOTA issue", despite the association saying in an August media statement that it will "support any initiative" to help Sauber keep racing beyond BMW's withdrawal.
Ultimately, the debate may be academic, if as is rumoured one or more of the 13 confirmed teams for 2010 ultimately pull out.
But BMW-Sauber team boss Mario Theissen said: "The earlier we get a positive answer, the better it is. Every day counts," he told Reuters.
It is believed that Ferrari does not oppose the team being granted a guaranteed 14th team spot for 2010, and McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh said at Suzuka: "Our position is that we wouldn't wish to block Sauber who are an established FOTA member.
"If it gives clarity to Sauber, I think it would be right to agree to there being 14 teams in the event that one of them is Sauber. But I think 14 is too many teams, frankly," he added.