HRT team principal Collin Kolles hit back at the Formula One Teams Association on Thursday, accusing them of spreading 'misleading messages' over the reasons for their acrimonious split.
Responding to FOTA general secretary Simone Perillo's recent comments which pointed to HRT's membership being cancelled on account of non-payment of the €100,000 annual fee, Kolles accused the body of fabricating information.
"I can strictly deny it (membership being cancelled because of non-payment of dues). FOTA has spread a misleading message which will be rectified in the coming days, however, for the moment I don't want to say anything else," Kolles told HT.
The former Jordan F1 boss, further added that FOTA was driving a deep wedge between the teams and CVC and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who own the rights to the sport, ahead of negotiations for the seventh Concorde Agreement - which dictates the terms of the sport and how the revenues and prize money is shared.
"It is true that FOTA will be trying to be the only counterpart to CVC and Mr Ecclestone, but we feel this is an attempt by FOTA to punch above its weight," said Kolles.
Further elaborating on why HRT opted out of FOTA, Kolles said, "We didn't want to delegate our independent power of negotiation on such a sensitive matter like the Concorde Agreement." The sixth Concorde Agreement runs out on December 31, 2012. Kolles believes that FOTA only works in favour of the bigger teams.
"We left because FOTA defends mainly the interests of the big teams. We see no benefit in paying money for being part of it. We prefer investing our money in the car, instead of paying membership fees that don't benefit to us," he said.
A look at the organisational structure of FOTA puts things in clearer perspective. Chairman is McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh, the vice chairman is Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali, and the rest of the executive committee is comprised of Mercedes' Ross Brawn (Technical Regulations Working Group) and Red Bull's Christian Horner (Sporting Regulations Working Group).