MAY 14, 2002
Ecclestone and the car manufacturers
BERNIE ECCLESTONE, the boss of the Formula One group of companies, says that he does not believe that the automobile manufacturers are going to start their own World Championship.
"They come to F1 because it's a huge showroom window which guarantees a good return on their investment" Ecclestone told Le Figaro. "But I don't believe in their determination to genuinely involve themselves. They are in competition, so I have a hard time imagining them discussing things openly. Our sport needs them, but they have not always needed F1."
Ecclestone is very clear that he does not think that there should be two championships in competition with one another as that would be very damaging for the sport and so it is everyone's best interest that there is a show of unity as quickly as possible. In order for that to happen, however, the problems over the division of revenues need to be addressed so that teams get a bigger slice of the profits.
What is needed now is compromise and a sensible redistribution of wealth as no-one stands to gain from further division.
The strength of the sport over the last 20 years has been based on the Concorde Agreement which started out on March 4 1981 as a deal between the FIA, FOCA (in effect the private F1 teams) and the manufacturer teams. A similar deal must now be negotiated to ensure agreement between the major players. The difference now is that FOCA has become SLEC and no longer involves the teams and most of them are now allied to the manufacturers.
Negotiations for a new Concorde Agreement, perhaps with a longer duration than the existing 10-year deal, would be the best way forward.
The only problem now is to negotiate it!
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