MARCH 5, 2006
Bernie offers seats on the board
Bernie Ecclestone is offering seats on the board of the sport's operating company to racing teams and carmakers to bring them into the fold. The Sunday Express in London reports that two non-executive directorships are on offer to representatives of the teams and manufacturers on the board of Formula One Administration. This would give them an independent voice (and votes) on the board without being affected by the shareholders in the business. The incentive is clearly another attempt to head off the manufacturers from doing their own thing with Ecclestone providing the carrots and FIA President Max Mosley providing the sticks.
The interesting question in this is what the teams that have signed up to the deal will feel about the situation and whether or not they will also get a voice on the board. That would not be a surprise for Ferrari but Williams and Red Bull might also want a voice in the decision-making process.
Decisions have to be made by the end of the month as Mosley is trying to force the issue by insisting that entries close by the end of March. There are various people saying that they may be running teams in 2008 but it remains to be seen whether these suggestions can be taken seriously. The only person who might have the money is Eddie Irvine but it should not be forgotten that he and his backer Roustam Tariko did not buy Jordan or Minardi when the opportunities existed. There is still room for one new team but there may be others on the horizon, notably a second McLaren operation, which has been under discussion for some time.
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