Mike Stevens | Jun 16, 2009

THE STANDOFF between the Formula 1 teams and FIA has forced the current crop of drivers to postpone discussions over their future, with Australia’s Mark Webber among those without a contract for next year.

With a potential breakaway championship looming, teams have been forced to redirect all resources towards fighting the advances of the FIA and emerging safely in the current saga which has engulfed the sport.

A director of the Grand Prix Drivers Association, Webber believes his future will not be resolved until the end of the current crisis, despite his recent vain of form.

He told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport: “At the moment you don't need to be talking with anyone. Nobody knows what and where he is going to drive next year.”

In addition to Webber, a number of other top line drivers are reportedly without a drive for next season, including championship leader Jenson Button who signed a one-year deal in February, and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton has been disgruntled by his treatment at the hands of McLaren in the aftermath of the Melbourne lying-to-the-stewards scandal which dominated headlines earlier in the year.

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes Formula One

The 2008 World Champion was particularly concerned with damage caused to the ‘Hamilton’ brand after it was revealed the Briton was encouraged to be complicit in attempts to deceive the stewards.

Although the scandal claimed the career of team manager Dave Ryan and inadvertently ended Ron Dennis’ involvement in Formula 1, Hamilton and his father Anthony remain unconvinced by McLaren’s attempts to mend their relationship.

Meanwhile, Donington Park chief Simon Gillett claims the British Grand Prix is set to be held at the venue for the next 17 years.

The event’s future was shrouded in doubt last month after Gillett’s company was taken to court by the circuit’s owners over $5 million in unpaid rent, while concerns were raised over the track’s safety.

donnington-park_01

However, with the issues now seemingly behind him, Gillett proclaimed that Formula One Management boss Bernie Ecclestone has already extended the circuit’s 10-year contract.

“Bernie Ecclestone's agreed to give us a seven year extension, so we're now at 17 years running from 2010,” he said to the BBC.

"That's a nice rubber stamp from Bernie himself to say he believes in Donington and he wants to have a long-term relationship with it.”

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