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Concorde Agreement close

THE long-running squabbling over the 1998-2008 Concorde Agreement are very close to being settled with several sources suggesting that the document will be signed by all the teams before the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne next weekend. According to our sources the new agreement features a completely new scale of payments to the teams involved, with a team's length of involvement in Grand Prix racing - which was little more than a way to give extra income to Ferrari - no longer existing.

We understand that the question of the succession to Bernie Ecclestone will not be part of the Concorde Agreement but will be a completely separate agreement between all the parties involved.

Max Mosley is scheduled to make a statement to the press in Melbourne on Thursday and it is possible that this will include reference to the Concorde Agreement, although we also expect the FIA President to use the opportunity to launch an attack against the European Commission which is trying to impose its competition laws on Formula 1 racing, arguing that sport has now become a business.

The battle between the FIA and the European Commission is expected to be a messy one as it appears to have developed into a clash of personality between Karel Van Miert and Max Mosley.

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