NOVEMBER 29, 2005
Rumours of "a 60% deal"
It may seem to be relative quiet in Formula 1 circles but the important business with regard to the future of the sport is being conducted behind closed doors and there are hopes that a solution will soon be found to settle the commercial future of the sport, and allow everyone to move forward together to build up the sport into a much stronger (and more profitable) operation.
Since the upheavals last summer - notably at Indianapolis - compromise has been in the air as the major players have realised that if they are not careful the sport is going to go off the rails. Concessions have been made by most of those involved in an effort to move things in the right direction. The important issues are being addressed and we hear that teams are now being offered a new deal which will make a number of key changes, notably avoiding Ferrari being given too much power in the rule-making processes. At the same time the FIA is quietly reshaping the Court of Appeal in order to improve its standing in the eyes of competitors and observers. These are both issues of key importance, much more important than a financial settlement.
However, teams have also been made a much better offer in terms of finance. For several weeks our spies have been whispering about "a 60% deal" which will give the teams that share of ALL the revenues generated by Formula 1 rather than the current figure which is around half that. This seems to be sufficiently generous to have calmed the fervour of some of the teams which have been opposed to a new deal with the Formula One group.
There remain a number of hardline members of the manufacturer fraternity who want to start their own championship. Their case has been undermined by the latest offers but giving up the cause is not as easy as it seems, despite the fact that many of the stated aims of the GPMA are now being met. Some say that personal ambitions are getting in the way of logical decision-making.
We expect a decision - one way or another - in the next few days and hear that the hardliners have been meeting in Stuttgart to discuss what to do in the face of the latest offer. Let us hope that all those involved make the right decisions for the sport.
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