Rival Series Looking for Commitment from Teams

Formula One's major carmakers will meet team bosses tomorrow hoping to secure their commitment to a new championship run by them from 2008.

Rival Series Looking for Commitment from Teams

Formula One's major carmakers will meet team bosses tomorrow hoping to secure their commitment to a new championship run by them from 2008.

The manufacturers have invited the 10 teams to a meeting in Munich to present the latest Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC) proposals.

"They need team bosses to start making a firm commitment," one source at a GPWC-linked team told Reuters. "They're not expecting anyone to sign up to the proposals per se but to signal an intent to do so."

The five main European carmakers involved are BMW, Ford, Mercedes' parent DaimlerChrysler, Ferrari owners Fiat and Renault.

"I'm led to believe that the documentation that will be presented to the teams is a complete and comprehensive proposal and has had significant input from all the teams and legal representation," said McLaren boss Ron Dennis at the weekend.

"I don't think there are any bad surprises. I think the document has only got better over time. There is no desire for any of the teams to go in a different direction. There is a definite desire to try and have a more equitable situation in Formula One for everybody."

Renault vice-president Patrick Faure told Britain's Guardian newspaper that the GPWC would present their business plan.

"I have the feeling that things are very clear," said Faure. "There has been the first era of Formula One, now there will be another. We are happy to keep (Formula One supremo) Bernie (Ecclestone) as CEO, but the majority of the money generated by Formula One has to go to the teams.

"Everything else is negotiable. But on this we will not compromise. We need this sport to be paid for by the revenues it generates."

Commercial Rights

Renault, Ford and Fiat own their own teams while Mercedes have a stake in McLaren. BMW are Williams' engine partners while Ford provide engines to Jordan and Minardi as well as owning Jaguar. Toyota own their own team while Honda are partners to BAR. Ferrari provide Sauber with engines.

The distribution of Formula One's revenues has long been a source of considerable grievance to teams, who want a far greater share than that laid down under the existing 'Concorde Agreement' which runs out in 2007. Dennis has put the share currently received by the teams at just 23 percent.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said last month that the carmakers' key goals were to ensure the long-term stability of the sport, to hand the teams most of the revenue and give manufacturers more control. Formula One's commercial rights are currently controlled by banks after the failure last year of Germany's Kirch media group, who held a 75 percent stake.

The remainder of holding company SLEC is owned by Ecclestone's family trust.

The carmakers have been talking to the banks about taking their own stake in SLEC while Ecclestone has said his trust could be interested in buying back the rights if all the teams extended the Concorde Agreement to 2015.

The GPWC proposals will be an updated version of ones already circulated to teams with more detail in key areas, the team source said.

They will include issues such as ensuring the sport's transparency, the percentage of television money due to teams and planned distribution of any additional profits to the teams. The GPWC is set up as a non-profit making body.

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