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F1 drought-breaker comes in uncertain times -

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PETER CAVE: Just as Australian Mark Webber celebrates his win in the German Formula 1 Grand Prix,
questions remain about the future of the sport in Australia.

Australia's Formula 1 chief, Ron Walker, has indicated the Melbourne Grand Prix may be scrapped if
disunity in the sport isn't resolved.

Simon Lauder reports.

SIMON LAUDER: Mark Webber's victory at the German Grand Prix is Australia's first in 28 years. For
the 32-year-old the chequered flag was a dream come true.

MARK WEBBER (shouting in excitement): Yeehah! Yes! Yes! Yeah!

SIMON LAUDER: Motorsport writer, Stuart Sykes, is the editor of the official program for the
Australian Grand Prix.

STUART SYKES: I can't think of a result that has given me as much pleasure as Mark's victory last
night.

SIMON LAUDER: Why is that?

STUART SYKES: I've known the lad for a long, long time. I know exactly how hard he and his small
team around him have worked to get him where he is. He optimises much that, to my mind, is good
about being an Australian.

And it's just an absolute reward for effort, endeavour and let's not forget, some very real talent
behind the wheel.

SIMON LAUDER: The win comes after years of disappointments for Webber over 130 races; leading some
to doubt whether he could ever win. Webber acknowledged that as he took the winner's podium.

MARK WEBBER: Everyone in Australia that has supported me on the way through and of course there's a
few people that doubted me as well. So hello to them as well, and um, it's just an incredible day
for all the people that have helped me get to where I am.

SIMON LAUDER: As Australia's presence in the sport gets a major lift, the sports presence in
Australia is looking shaky. Major teams including Ferrari, Mercedes and Toyota are threatening to
form their own championship.

Stuart Sykes says tension between leading F1 teams and the sport's governing body have been
building for a while, but the dispute over plans to impose budget caps on the sport brought the
conflict to a head.

STUART SYKES: Because they saw it as an introduction of a two-tier world championship. The haves,
the have-nots. The ones who were being given special dispensation if they stuck to a budget cap.

But there are many other aspects to this to do with commercial rights, to do with the share that
the teams get from the revenues that flow through Formula 1; to do with the teams' input and the
technical regulations rather than having technical regulations imposed on them from outside.

So I think while that may have been the straw the broke the camel's back, I think there were a lot
of other humps along the way.

SIMON LAUDER: The chairman of the Australian Grand Prix Ron Walker, says the race wouldn't be worth
having in Melbourne if the disunity continues and the sport's major brands don't show.

Stuart Sykes says there's little chance it will come to that; he says the dispute between the major
teams and the organisers is as much about politics and personalities.

STUART SYKES: While what we're seeing at the moment is ongoing politicking, intriguing,
saber-rattling, etc. These things always come to a head and always seem to get resolved. And
usually someone with a modicum of common sense comes along and says, "Let's cut through all this
nonsense and let's get it sorted."

And we will see the race in Melbourne as we all expect to see it next year.

SIMON LAUDER: And Stuart Sykes, what do you see as the best solution to this disunity at the
moment?

STUART SYKES: For me, it would be for the teams to retain the degree of unity that they have
achieved in the last 12 months or so with the creation of the Formula 1 Teams Association; for egos
to be set aside in pursuit of the best interests of the sport.

And most importantly of all, for all interested parties to respect people who watch this wonderful
sport worldwide and are numbered in their hundreds of millions.

SIMON LAUDER: As for Mark Webber, Stuart Sykes believes the win in Germany overnight won't be his
last.

STUART SYKES: If he can do what he did in Germany, Hungary is the next race, if you can put the car
on pole there and stay clear of trouble then that's another strong chance.

But I think there are other places like Spa-Francorchamps, the wonderful track in Belgium, which is
so flowing and undulating that it might just suit him and the car as well. There are plenty of
opportunities for him to do it, but wouldn't it be wonderful to see him do it in Australia?

PETER CAVE: Motorsports writer, Stuart Sykes, ending that report from Simon Lauder.