Sep.2 (GMM) Independent teams are the "heart" of formula one, Mercedes-Benz's F1 chief Norbert Haug said on Tuesday.
Speaking to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport magazine about the recently-formed alliance of F1's ten teams, FOTA, the German insisted that the survival of private teams like Williams and Force India is important for the whole sport.After Max Mosley's recent request for proposals about the future, the F1 teams have been asked to present their findings to the World Motor Sport Council in October.To this end, FOTA is scheduled to meet at Monza next week."We have all recognised that solutions lie in togetherness," said Haug, echoing recent paddock sentiment that even the McLaren-Mercedes collaboration's notorious hostilities of the past with Ferrari are at a low ebb.He admits that, with Ferrari's Luca di Montezemolo at the forefront of the alliance, McLaren is not the driving force of FOTA."But we support it and stand fully behind it," Haug insisted."There is a high degree of common ground among the teams which should be capitalised upon," the German added.Despite the fact that Mercedes and BMW are the only carmakers currently involved in F1 never to have sold engines to customer teams, Haug insists that he has "always been a supporter" of the privateers."They are the heart of formula one, not just cannon fodder," he said.