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Whitmarsh hopeful of FOTA future

ESPNF1 Staff
February 16, 2012 « Red Bull wary of new Mercedes | DAMS signs up Nasr for 2012 »
Martin Whitmarsh believes the teams will continue to work together despite the dwindling numbers of FOTA members © McLaren
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Martin Whitmarsh is hopeful that the Formula One teams will continue to work together despite reduced numbers remaining in FOTA.

The McLaren team principal doubles as FOTA chairman and has seen Ferrari, Red Bull, Sauber and Toro Rosso leave the association since the end of last season. With Gerard Lopez also admitting that Lotus has considered leaving FOTA, Whitmarsh said that he wasn't concerned how the teams were labelled as a group as long as they continue to work together.

"I'm not too hung up on the brand 'FOTA'," Whitmarsh said. "I think what's important is that the teams realise there are critical issues within this sport where it will be better if we cooperate and take sensible decisions, and I hope and believe that we'll continue to do that."

Peter Sauber agreed that the teams need to continue to work together, telling the official Formula One website that it is still extremely hard for smaller teams to survive in the sport.

"We are in constant contact with all the other teams and discuss any important issues, like the RRA (Resource Restriction Agreement), and we will also stick to the agreed factory closing dates in August," he said. "It definitely has not become easier for the smaller teams. To cut costs in Formula One is a very difficult and thorny issue. The RRA was a step in the right direction, but now other steps must urgently follow."

Representatives from Ferrari will attend the latest FOTA Fans Forum on February 29 in Barcelona.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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