Bernie's £40 million sweetener

The battle for the allegiance of Formula 1's teams between Bernie Ecclestone and the breakaway Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC) organisation looks set to come to a head this week, with Ecclestone due to meet team bosses on Tuesday

Bernie's £40 million sweetener

The F1 promoter will attempt to kill off the GPWC by offering the teams an improved financial package worth a total of $3 billion (£1.6 billion) over a five-year period.

Ecclestone landed a major coup last week by winning Ferrari over into his corner, a move that was widely perceived as sounding the death knell for the GPWC given the Italian team's status as the biggest draw for F1 fans worldwide. However, GPWC figurehead Jurgen Hubbert of Mercedes-Benz reacted by urging the other nine teams not to lose their nerve and accept an extension of the Concorde Agreement on Ecclestone's terms.

Hubbert was critical of Ecclestone's tactics in seeking a private deal with Ferrari as leverage to "bounce" the other teams into submission. Ferrari's defection undoubtedly makes it harder to convince team bosses that the GPWC can be a viable alternative to F1 - as Minardi team principal Paul Stoddart pointed out last week - and means that the organisation will probably have to outbid Ecclestone by a substantial margin if it is to get off the ground.

It is understood that, under the terms of a new deal that would extend the Concorde Agreement until 2012, Ecclestone will offer each team a minimum of £40 million per season from 2008, together with a signing-on fee of £35 million. Under the current arrangement smaller teams can expect to receive around £15 million in commercial revenues each season, rising to £50 million for the champion constructor - a figure that could be doubled under Ecclestone's new proposal.

Ecclestone's key task in Tuesday's meeting will be to assuage fears that he is promising Ferrari preferential treatment and to convince the other nine team bosses that he is genuinely ready to accept a more equitable distribution of the sport's financial rewards.

shares
comments
Kimi tries out new MP4-20
Previous article

Kimi tries out new MP4-20

Next article

Jordan Confirm Midland Takeover

Jordan Confirm Midland Takeover
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022