In a mere matter of hours, formula one could be plunged deeper into crisis than at any other time in its nearly sixty-year history.

In a mere matter of hours, formula one could be plunged deeper into crisis than at any other time in its nearly sixty-year history.

It is almost inevitable that, having failed to submit unconditional entries for next year's world championship, minimally five current teams - McLaren, BMW, Renault, Toyota and Brawn - will be missing from the 2010 entry list, set to be published by the FIA before lunch.

The Red Bull teams and Ferrari may be included due to existing agreements but against their will, and if so, F1's most famous team is likely to launch immediate legal action.

But whether Ferrari is included or not, if the war is still waging when the FIA document goes out to the press, the die could be cast for the rebel teams to follow through their threat to split and form a breakaway series.

"F1 is about to experience the biggest single shock in its entire history," former team owner and Mosley adversary Paul Stoddart was quoted as saying by the Globe and Mail newspaper.

With the danger of an explosive entry list too high, Max Mosley sat in a last-gasp four-hour meeting with key members of the FOTA alliance on Thursday, at an undisclosed central-London location.

Present with the FIA president were Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari), John Howett (Toyota), Christian Horner (Red Bull) and Ross Brawn, but although it is believed Mosley's stance has been significantly softened of late, yet another meeting broke without a definitive agreement.

A few scenarios for Friday are possible, the first of which unfortunately seems the least likely: an agreement is reached, and as Mosley indicated in his letter to Luca di Montezemolo this week, arrangements are made for a joint declaration of peace.

The second scenario - and unfortunately the most likely - is that Williams, Force India (possibly Ferrari and the Red Bull teams) and multiple new entries are included on the entry list, thereby locking out some or all of the FOTA rebels.

However, even in the absence of a definitive agreement, another option is open to Mosley: granting the FOTA teams provisional 2010 entries, pending the finalisation of a solution that seems to be nearing with every day, irrespective of the rigid May 29 and June 12 deadlines.

Another interim option for Mosley would be to leave off the FOTA teams, but with enough vacant spots so that they can lodge unconditional late entries at a later date.

In this case, multiple new entries could be granted only provisional entries.

 

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