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F1 NEWS 

Bernie Ecclestone to meet teams to work on Formula 1 future

Bernie EcclestoneFormula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is to meet a number of team bosses on Thursday to make progress in securing the future of the sport.

With the teams, Ecclestone and the FIA still having not signed a Concorde Agreement, and concerns about future costs ahead of the switch to new engine regulations in 2014, there is a new push to shore up a common way forward.

After Ecclestone met team representatives from Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes at Mercedes to discuss matters last month, he is now meeting the other outfits in London.

It is understood that among the items being discussed are the situation regarding the Concorde Agreement, future engine regulations, the non-payment by some teams of entry fees, and customer cars.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh reckoned that getting a Concorde Agreement in place would be important for getting the sport's stakeholders moving forward in the same direction.

"We're good at creating crisis in our sport and we're good at not sorting many things out," he said during a visit to Jerez this week.

"We need people at the moment - or someone needs to come out and say "peace in our time", wave a bit of paper and there's a new Concorde Agreement. We need to have that, but I'm not sure everyone is motivated to do it."

There have been mounting concerns in recent weeks that the collapse of HRT, the failure of Ecclestone to find a 20th race and the growing number of pay drivers in the sport is a sign that the sport is heading towards serious financial trouble.

When asked for his view on the situation, Whitmarsh said: "I think it's going to be tough for some of the teams to have a viable business model for a few years; there's no doubt about that.

"For me personally, that it's sad that there are many pay drivers in Formula 1.

"The numbers have crept up and I'm sure it's good and exciting for those who can afford it, but you would hope that in the premier form of motor racing world wide, you wouldn't have to have pay drivers."

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