GPWC keeps up the pressure

The GPWC group of major manufacturers in Formula 1 is aiming to move its plans to start a breakaway series to the next level early in the new year

GPWC keeps up the pressure

GPWC which is made up by BMW, Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault, expects to start signing contracts with circuits, sponsors and TV broadcasters next month.

A source close to GPWC told The Independent newspaper: "We are close to signing. This will set in motion the plans to set up the alternative series by 2008 at the latest."

In October GPWC, which is unhappy with the proportion of the profits made by F1 which Bernie Ecclestone retains, appointed International Sports and Entertainment (iSe) to establish and promote its new series and set a target of 2008 for it to begin.

The latest move from GPWC adds a further twist to the saga of Ecclestone's fight to retain control of Formula 1.

Ecclestone recently lost a High Court case with banks which could give them greater control over the way Formula 1 is run, but the source close to GPWC says that will not change its plans to set up its own series.

The banks are expected to try to set up meetings with the GPWC manufacturers, which could soon be joined by Honda, over the coming weeks. Any deal between the banks and GPWC could significantly weaken Ecclestone's control over Formula 1.

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