JULY 13, 2002
Banks and manufacturers not even talking
THE banks which now control SLEC, the Formula One group's holding company, have not even started talking with the automobile manufacturers about what should happen in Formula 1. The automobile makers are planning their own GPWC series and the latest indications are that this could begin much earlier than originally planned - if a settlement between the various parties can be found.
At the moment nothing seems to be happening, although there has been some talk that Formula One's minority shareholder Bernie Ecclestone is talking to the banks about buying the company back. The news from Germany is that the banks are not interested in taking that step - at least not at the moment. The problem is that the lack of a decision is putting pressure on the Formula 1 teams which are struggling to find big sponsorship deals because they cannot give any guarantees about the long-term future. The teams are becoming more interested in an arrangement involving the manufacturers because of this although there are many who still believe that the GPWC is not a serious operation but simply a negotiating tool.
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