Mike Stevens | May 28, 2009

WILLIAMS F1 HAS been suspended from the Formula One Teams Association following its decision to break ranks with the organisation and submit its entry for next season.

The Grove-based outfit is believed to have co-signed a letter addressed to FIA President Max Mosley, stating the teams are unanimous in their opposition to the proposed 2010 regulations.

However, only 24 hours later, Williams F1 confirmed its participation in next year’s championship, potentially damaging FOTA’s campaign and leaving the teams with little option but to temporarily suspend its membership.

AUTO WILLIAMS F1 (2)

In a statement released by the team, Williams F1 boss Sir Frank Williams said he was disappointed with FOTA’s decision but recognised the reasoning behind its actions.

"FOTA's decision, although regrettable, is understandable," he said. "However, as a racing team and a company whose only business is Formula One, with obligations to our partners and our employees, submitting our entry to next year's Championship was unquestionable.

"In addition, we are legally obliged under our contract with FOM (Formula One Management) and the FIA (International Automobile Federation) to participate in the World Championship until the end of 2012."

Williams and his company’s Chief Executive Officer Alan Parr were present at yesterday’s meeting of FOTA at Heathrow, sitting in on initial discussions before excusing themselves as the team bosses decided their fate.

It was then agreed that Williams F1 would play no further part in negotiations with the FIA.

Williams F1’s decision to submit its entry for next season is rumoured to have injected an element of apprehension within FOTA as teams remain concerned by Parr’s relationship with Mosley.

However, Parr was quick to dismiss such claims, saying Williams F1 doesn’t wish to cause a divide among the teams and deliberately hurt their cause.

"As a team we have a certain philosophy and this is an inevitable and necessary development. It may well be that other teams have a different view. I completely respect that,” he said.

"We feel there is a huge chance to resolve this and very much hope that all the existing teams, plus one or two new ones, will be on the grid with us next year.

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