A row between Bernie Ecclestone and the F1 teams' alliance FOTA stepped up a gear on the eve of Australian grand prix action.

A row between Bernie Ecclestone and the F1 teams' alliance FOTA stepped up a gear on the eve of Australian grand prix action.

After F1 chief executive Ecclestone leaked to the press that Renault and McLaren chiefs recently threatened to boycott the Melbourne race, FOTA hit back by insisting that Flavio Briatore and Ron Dennis had "presented the unified views of all FOTA members."

In a statement, the teams' body said the dispute with Ecclestone is about money "owed" for the past three seasons, with the matter needing to be settled before a new Concorde agreement can be signed.

Ecclestone's Formula One Administration (FOA) replied with its own statement to correct FOTA's "inaccurate and misleading statements".

FOA denied that "any amount" of money is owed to "any team," because the existing Concorde "expired at the end of 2007."

Some teams, however, have penned individual contracts with FOA, while others have been paid "substantial payments ... on account of future prize fund entitlements they will have when they sign a contract."

78-year-old Ecclestone has not travelled to Australia for the 2009 season opener.

 

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