Ecclestone warns car maker consortium

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has warned that ACEA's (ACEA is Association des Constructeurs Européens d' Automobiles) plans to establish its own racing series and the commercial uncertainty in F1 at present is driving sponsors away from the sport.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has warned that ACEA's (ACEA is Association des Constructeurs Européens d' Automobiles) plans to establish its own racing series and the commercial uncertainty in F1 at present is driving sponsors away from the sport. Speaking to the Sunday Times newspaper, Ecclestone said: "The sponsors are not happy, they want to reconsider. I have told them to wait and see what happens. They became involved because they liked the stability of F1 and knew that things were done properly. Once these companies leave it is hard to get them back."

Last week ACEA, the European carmaker consortium, founded a new company known as GPWC (Grand Prix World Championship) in the first step to start a breakaway Championship. It has also met with all F1 teams in Geneva to invite them to join the series and confirmed that it would start in 2008, a year after the current Concorde Agreement runs out. People within ACEA, including the FIA's Paolo Cantarella who will act as GPWC's chairman, still feel that the commercial involvement of Kirch, the media company that own 75% of the rights to SLEC, is negative and fear that they will turn F1 broadcasting to pay-per-view. They also feel that teams are not getting a fair share of the huge income generated by F1's television rights.

Ecclestone, who still owns 25% of SLEC, claimed that the proposed income structure of GPWC would not compare favourably with the current deal teams get because the newly formed company would have less value. "I don’t think Cantarella passed on the details.'’ He said.‘ What they don’t realise is that the 50% the teams get from us would be more than the 100% they would get if they did their own thing. It has taken them two years to agree to make a company that has nothing in it and they have made a lot of incorrect assumptions.People don’t want to win an athletics meeting...they want to win the Olympics."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone