MARCH 3, 2003
Ecclestone calls for new Concorde Agreement
Bernie Ecclestone sees a new Concorde Agreement as the solution to the current rift between some of the teams and the FIA, and essential in ensuring future health of the sport.
Ecclestone told The Times that a renegotiation of the current rules could be completed within a couple weeks, giving the teams more of the money generated from the sport's commercial activities and agreeing on regulations that more accurately reflect the current state of F1.
"We are racing with decisions that have nothing to do with our current circumstances," said Ecclestone. "The regulations do not reflect today's values and what we need to be doing now. If everybody sits around a table, we could start work on it now, but I need the teams and the rest to say they want change."
Williams and McLaren have recently threatened to take the FIA to arbitration over the new rules it will impose for the 2003 championship. The governing body had trouble passing rule changes designed to cut costs because any rule change must be voted on unanimously by all the teams. Getting the teams to agree on anything has been nearly impossible, so FIA boss Max Mosley took the issue into his own hands by "reinterpreting" how the current rules will be enforced for 2003 and beyond, a move which the two powerhouse teams took issue with and will challenge in court.
Ecclestone was also critical of the manufacturers for threatening to start their own rival championship when the current Concorde Agreement expires in 2007.
"They [the manufacturers] wanted to come in because Formula 1 was a big car showroom for them and we are just helping them to sell cars," added Ecclestone. "The are just holding out to take control of F1 without paying any money for it. The whole thing has become a nightmare. Formula 1 doesn't need this sort of trouble and we need to find a way to negotiate a new Concorde Agreement so teams can be looked after and we can see the future clearly."
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