Carmakers Stand Firm against Ecclestone

Five Formula One carmakers and seven of the 10 teams have signed a 'binding agreement' to stand firm in the battle with Bernie Ecclestone over the sport's commercial future

Carmakers Stand Firm against Ecclestone

The manufacturers are threatening to launch their own series from 2008 if they are not given far more of the revenues and issued a statement after meeting near Munich on Wednesday.

They said preparations for their series had moved forward, with consultants International Sports and Entertainment AG (iSe) instructed to advance negotiations with broadcasters, circuit owners and sponsors.

"The five manufacturers and the teams entered into a binding agreement to race together only in a series which satisfies the fundamental principles of a clear and equitable World Championship," the statement said.

"All teams not party to this agreement are encouraged to participate in a constructive process to form the premier motorsport series.

"Whilst the group remains open and willing to discuss with the commercial rights holder and the FIA on the future of Grand Prix motor racing beyond 2007, the current uncertainty leaves them with no option other than to progress preparatory work for the new series."

Ferrari, the current Champions, Jordan and Red Bull have already agreed with the governing FIA and Ecclestone's Formula One Management to extend the existing commercial agreement to 2012.

The current agreement expires at the end of 2007. The carmakers are BMW, DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes, Renault, Toyota and Honda.

More Money

Minardi, due to be taken over by Red Bull on November 1 after owner Paul Stoddart was bought out, attended the meeting and the Australian entrepreneur also signed the declaration.

The team are expected to leave the group of seven teams once they come under Red Bull's control.

The display of unity followed speculation that Williams, who are separating from engine partner BMW at the end of the season, and Japanese car giants Toyota could be about to break ranks and agree terms with Ecclestone.

Hopes had been raised that peace was at hand in the long-running power battle after all sides renewed dialogue over the FIA's proposed rule changes for 2008.

However, the carmakers said that, while recent meetings with FIA president Max Mosley had made some progress, it was "not sufficient to delay the preparation for the new series".

Renault's F1 team president Patrick Faure said in Brazil at the weekend that the plans for an alternative race calendar remained very much alive.

"You have the technical regulations, where we have a discussion with Max and the FIA, and we also have what is for us more important and that is the commercial negotiations with the banks, who are the owners of Formula One, and Bernie," he said.

"There is nothing decided yet. If needed, we will launch our Championship.

"Our target has been the same since the beginning, which is to say that we must give more money to the teams that are really organising the show and on this we will not compromise."

PREPARATION FOR NEW SERIES MOVES FORWARD 

Teams and manufacturers remain committed to improving the sport for spectators and other key stakeholders.
Long-term best interests of the sport come before a short-term compromise  
iSe to advance negotiations with key parties.

27 September 2005 - Today, a meeting between five major car manufacturers (BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Honda, Renault, Toyota) and seven teams (BAR, McLaren, Minardi, Renault, Sauber, Toyota, Williams) who currently participate in Formula One took place close to Munich.

The five manufacturers and their teams entered into a binding agreement to race together only in a series which satisfies the fundamental principles of a clear and equitable World Championship. All teams not party to this agreement are encouraged to participate in a constructive process to form the premier motor sport series.

Whilst the group remains open and willing to discuss with the current commercial rights holder and the FIA on the future of Grand Prix motor racing beyond 2007, the current uncertainty leaves them with no option other than to progress preparatory work for the New Series.

Although the team principals and manufacturers agreed that some progress was made in the recent meetings, they considered it was not sufficient to delay the preparations for the New Series. As a result, International Sports & Entertainment AG (iSe), the company that was appointed October 2004 as an operating partner for the alliance of teams and manufacturers, will advance strategic and commercial negotiations with key parties.

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