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GPWC Founder Predicts Settlement

Bernie Ecclestone and the carmakers seeking to form a breakaway Grand Prix series will almost certainly reach a settlement, according to former Fiat CEO and one of the founders of the GPWC, Paolo Cantarella

Speaking last week at a photo exhibition in Turin, Italy, Cantarella said the primary motivation behind the idea of a breakaway series was a larger distribution of profits.

"Bernie did a wonderful job," the Italian said. "He brought the sport up from its old disorganized days. But now - let's face it - Bernie is making too much money. I started this [idea for a breakaway series] because the cost of Formula One racing has become so high that more money has to go to the teams.

"Also, the cake should be bigger. This applies to televising a sport that reaches so many millions around the world. The billboards at the tracks and other sources of income have to make a contribution.

"Thus I think there should be a dialogue between Ecclestone and serious partners like the auto companies, not with the team owners, not all of whom are serious."

"At the end of the day," concluded the former Fiat chief, "I think there will be a resolution of this between the two sides."

The GPWC was the company planning to start a breakaway series in 2008, but has since been replaced with a new manufacturers' association, which includes original members DaimlerChrysler, BMW and Renault as well as new recruits Toyota and Honda.

Cantarella, who led the formation of the GPWC as CEO of Fiat, has left the company in mid 2002, was attending the opening of an exhibition of photos of Ferrari cars and racing by Rodolfo Mailander at the former Fiat factory site of Lingotto.

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