Bernie Ecclestone's angry rejoinder to Luca di Montezemolo recently could be an attempt to split the unified F1 teams' alliance.

Bernie Ecclestone's angry rejoinder to Luca di Montezemolo recently could be an attempt to split the unified F1 teams' alliance.

That is the suspicion of John Howett, president of the Toyota team and also Montezemolo's deputy in the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA).

Ecclestone, F1 chief executive and in charge of the sport's commercial rights, lashed out at Montezemolo after the Ferrari president revealed his desire to see F1 restructured.

Bernie, 78, said Ferrari is hypocritical to ask for more money because it receives "$80 million more" than another team for winning the world championship.

But Howett suggested that if Ecclestone's desire is to split FOTA, which is currently unified and therefore influential, revealing Ferrari's preferential commercial deal is not the way to do it.

"He may be trying to (split FOTA) but all the information that was given is very transparent and openly shared among the members, so it was a bit of a non-event because everybody is aware of the historic status (of Ferrari)," he told The Times.

FIA president Max Mosley believes FOTA's unity is yet to be tested fully.

"I think the teams are more united now because there are outside pressures on formula one," he told F1's official website.

"The real tests of unity will come when there is a significant difference of opinion or when vital interests are threatened," he added.

 

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