FOTA Calendar Faces Contractual Halt

With information regarding the potential calendar of the breakaway series already leaked in the British media, the FOTA's plan for a rival championship no longer seems illusional. However, in their attempt to include several historical venues in their 2010 calendar, the FOTA might have some problems securing a round or two next year.

And that's because 5 of the 17 tracks proposed by the FOTA representatives are currently under contract with Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Management. Which means the 78-year old currently holds several commercial rights over these venues, which in turn leads to their inability to join another series, rival to Formula One.

For those of you who haven't followed our most recent report on the FOTA schedule, here are the five tracks: Monte Carlo, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Monza and Suzuka.

While the other tracks have publicly expressed their willingness to be part of the new breakaway series – Montreal, Indianapolis, Magny-Cours, Silverstone, Hockenheim, etc. – as they are no longed contractually bind to the FOM, the aforementioned five might have some trouble switching sides.

Singapore was the first track not to give an affirmative respond to the FOTA, as local publication New Paper “cited a source close to the island Republic's new night race as indicating that its formula one contract does not permit negotiations with a rival series,” as reported by the GMM news agency.

While Abu Dhabi confirmed they are willing to host races in both series, if necessary, Monza and Suzuka are yet to give an official statement on the matter. However, with both tracks being based in countries where two of the FOTA members are currently running their business (Toyota and Ferrari), it is expected they will respond affirmative.

Hockenheim is also problematic for the FOTA, as the German track is currently subject to an alternative deal with Nurburgring for the hosting of the German Grand Prix. Although admitting they are having a hard time hosting a money-losing event in Formula One, race's CEO Karl Josef Schmidt confirmed they have a binding contract with the FOM.

The formula one contract is subject to English law. We will not appoint English lawyers to do an expensive appraisal before we know that it is absolutely necessary,” said Schmidt, while admitting he would say yes to a potential deal with the FOTA series.
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