Ecclestone admits F1 breakaway possible

Mon, 16 June 2008, 02:33

Despite refusing to admit responsibility for the ‘breakaway’ rumours, Bernie Ecclestone concedes that splitting with the FIA is a possible solution to formula one’s current troubles.

The F1 chief executive initially sided with his former friend and ally of 40 years, Max Mosley, when a British tabloid newspaper exposed the FIA president in a sadomasochistic romp with prostitutes.

Since then, however, 77-year-old Ecclestone has come under immense pressure from elsewhere, including Mosley’s key adversaries who have used his allegedly Nazi-themed sex antics as ammunition.

Ecclestone also revealed that Jewish investors, who control much of the money flowing into formula one, are unhappy with Mosley.

“They say the FIA shouldn’t let somebody like Max represent them,” the Briton said in an interview at the weekend with The Times.

Ecclestone admits that taking F1’s ten teams, sponsors, promoters and TV broadcast deals to a separate series – probably to be called ‘GP1’ – is one possible outcome.

“At the moment what we are trying to do, to keep sponsors happy, is say we can’t break away, but it could well be that that will happen,” he said.

Ecclestone and the teams are currently pushing for a new Concorde Agreement with the FIA, but Mosley is refusing to agree to their terms and the previous contract has lapsed.

It is clear that Ecclestone and Mosley fundamentally disagree about F1’s income.

“If Max comes back and says we should give more money to teams, I will tell him to mind his own bloody business,” Ecclestone said.

He accuses Mosley of “time-wasting” because the FIA has no commercial investments in the sport.

But Ecclestone warns: “All they’ve got is money that comes from formula one. If there was no formula one, the FIA would be in serious trouble.”

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