Grapevine: Ecclestone Warned Against Buying into CART

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has been warned not to buy into the flagging CART championship by team owner Craig Pollock - because the billionaire already has enough problems with Formula One.

Grapevine: Ecclestone Warned Against Buying into CART

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has been warned not to buy into the flagging CART championship by team owner Craig Pollock - because the billionaire already has enough problems with Formula One.

Ecclestone has been fighting a running battle with the sport's leading car manufacturers - Ferrari, DaimlerChrysler, BMW, Ford and Renault - because they all want a bigger slice of the commercial pie.

They have threatened to create a breakaway series in 2008, when the current contract governing Formula One's commercial rights comes to an end, and have set up the Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC) company to carry out their plan.

Ecclestone is understood to be keen on buying into the United States-based CART championship, even though it has been plunged into difficulties since the IRL Indycar championship was created in the 1990s.

"I think it is too early for Bernie to get involved," warned Pollock. "He has issues up and down the Formula One paddock he has to get resolved before he starts looking at a second series. CART is getting bigger in Europe and in reality it is either going to go up or go down - it can't stay in the middle.

"It has to be built up and if the decision they are talking about being made are carried out then it is going to go up."

Ecclestone, who still retains 25 percent of the shares in his Formula One commercial rights holding company, SLEC, still has control of the sport but the remaining shares are now held by a consortium of banks and the car manufacturers are understood to be interested in taking control of them.

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