DECEMBER 6, 2004
Banks planning more law suits against Ecclestone
The Formula 1 banks are planning at least three more claims against Bernie Ecclestone, according to sources in Germany. These include two which will win them control of Formula One Administration and Formula One Management and there is rumoured to be a third which will seek damages for the loss of value in their stake in SLEC.
Ecclestone will remain in control of the business until these law suits are completed and will be trying in the meantime to convince the banks to compromise and sell the business back to him while at the same time he may try to convince the teams that they do not want to be involved in a business run by the GPWC and would be better off supporting a rival championship which he would run.
There has long been talk of a plan to use the new GP2 teams and turn their championship into something called GP1. But at 74 years of age, such an undertaking would be a massive challenge for Ecclestone as the teams involved in F1 are unlikely to interested in any championship in which the cars are made by a single chassis supplier and engines come from a single engine company.
The other big problem is that despite his desire to do so, Ecclestone has not been successful in his attempts to trademark either Formula 1 or Grand Prix. This does not mean he has failed but the trademarks have not been accepted and given the widespread use of both terms, it is hard to see him being able to win either case in the short term.
But Ecclestone is a fighter and has no shortage of money to pay legal bills and so continues to push for the solutions he is looking for. It will now be interesting to see what happens and whether the unity of the GPWC will hold or whether the alliance of the big teams will fall apart. Over the years the teams have allowed themselves to be dictated to on many occasions because they have been divided and conquered. At the moment there is a deep split between nine teams and Ferrari over the issue of cost-cutting but this does not appear to be affecting their unity at the GPWC level.
|Print News Story|
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