Banks looking for long-term stability

The banks that recently won a legal case against Bernie Ecclestone to have more influence on how Formula One is run are not likely to try and oust him from the organisation. The three banks, Bayerische Landesbank, JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers,...

The banks that recently won a legal case against Bernie Ecclestone to have more influence on how Formula One is run are not likely to try and oust him from the organisation. The three banks, Bayerische Landesbank, JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers, own 75% of SLEC, F1's commercial holding company, and an Ecclestone trust the other 25%.

The banks now have the right to have their say on who is appointed to the board of directors of Formula One Holdings (FOH) but they realise the importance of the man dubbed F1's "ringmaster".

"We would be badly advised to exclude a key figure like Ecclestone," Gerhard Gribowsky, a senior figure at Bayerische Landesbank, told Germany's Der Spiegel. "But there is a limit. We'll not accept a role in which we carry the risks and are ready to fight for our position. Our aim is to guarantee the sport's long-term stability."

Despite the banks winning the legal case, it's still unclear exactly who will be running F1. It seems that the banks are not intending to be involved in F1 in the long-term future as Gribowsky said that in perhaps three to five years they may step back from the sport.

Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC) still intends to go ahead with its plans for a rival series and it's speculated that the banks may want to hand control over to the group. The teams want a bigger share of F1's profits and Ferrari President Luca di Montzemolo said there will be a breakaway unless a financial settlement is reached.

Di Montezemolo is convinced that from 2008 there will be only one championship, no matter what it is called. "If there's no solution, then from 2008 there will be a new series organised on our behalf," he told Welt am Sonntag.

"I know that Ecclestone has certain rights in relationship to the Formula One name but that's not a problem for me. But whoever rules over the new Formula One must know that there must be big changes to profit sharing and the say of the teams and manufacturers."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone
Teams Ferrari