SEPTEMBER 20, 2002
What has happened to the manufacturers?
The automobile manufacturers were very upfront about their plans to do their own World Championship when the current Concorde Agreement runs out but for the last couple of months things have gone very quiet and there are beginning to be suggestions that it is only a matter of time before there is an announcement that the entire plan is being called off because a deal has been struck between the car manufacturers and the banks which are now in control of the shares of SLEC, the Formula One holding company.
The reality of the situation is that no-one involved wants there to be two series in competition with one another and so the aim has always been to find a compromise which keeps everyone happy. The credit for this work must probably go to German banker Thomas R Fischer, a consultant to the Bayerische Landesbank, who since May has been working in the background to find a solution to the F1 puzzle, in league with Bernie Ecclestone.
This is largely speculation but the signs are that something has happened as it would be in the interest of the car companies to continue to build up the momentum that was created during their meeting with the team bosses at Silverstone in July.
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