JUNE 18, 2002
The future of the GPWC
AS expected the Grand Prix World Championship organization has named its deputy chairman as replacement for Paolo Cantarella, who resigned from Fiat a few days ago. GPWC has also nominated Luca di Montezemolo to be Fiat's representative on the board of directors and has confirmed that Richard Parry-Jones has replaced former Jaguar boss Wolfgang Reitzle.
The GPWC has confirmed that its planned meeting with the F1 teams in July will go as planned at Silverstone and said that the creditors of Kirch have started to negotiate over the shares they control in SLEC, the Formula One group's holding company.
This is all well and good but no-one seems to be able to answer the question of whether or not there will ever be management stability at GPWC. The best way to get around the problem would be for the organization to name a chief executive who is not an automobile industry executive but the problem with that idea will be finding someone who is acceptable to all parties and experienced enough to know what he (or she) is doing.
A list of people with such qualifications would be a very short one although there a couple of people who might fit the bill. One of the biggest problems with the GPWC at the moment (and why it is not very convincing to the F1 teams and race organizers) is that it is working entirely with a merchant bank to come with its ideas and merchant bankers with no experience in the sport are not likely to be very convincing to those who have been around F1 for 20 years or more.
The best move for GPWC therefore would be to find a suitable figurehead who could full-time on the project. This might then convince the teams, FOM and the FIA that the program is more than just a negotiating position and make them sit up and take notice.
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