Rumours that Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is masterminding a break away championship have reached fever pitch in the Montreal paddock this weekend, according to the British fleet street newspapers The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.
Ecclestone held a meeting with team principals on Friday to discuss the ramifications of the vote of confidence in Max Mosley’s presidency of the FIA.
Ecclestone and the Formula One teams want the FIA to endorse a new and revised Concorde Agreement, the highly secretive document that binds the teams with the sport’s separate commercial and regulatory functions. These functions are currently split between commercial rights holders CVC and the FIA respectively.
“We want Max’s signature on a new document,” Ecclestone was quoted as saying by the Independent earlier this week.
“He doesn’t want to do that because he feels he has more power if he doesn’t sign. But he doesn’t need more power,” he added.
Max Mosley made it clear in a letter to club representatives that he would only sign up to the agreement if it addresses what he describes as “a major financial crisis” prevalent in Formula One and secures the FIA’s control for the sport’s regulating function.
“In my view, we should only sign a new Concorde Agreement if it reinforces the authority of the FIA and deals properly with the major financial crisis which appears imminent in F1,” Mosley said in the letter to members a month before his vote of confidence.
“Costs have gone out of control, income is insufficient and major manufacturers are in difficulty with their core businesses. Only with fair and realistic financial arrangements will we avoid losing more teams.”
Mosley’s demands may clash with Ecclestone and the team’s plans however, given that some teams are reportedly interested in having input in the technical regulations.
“The big manufacturers know just how much they want to spend to be competitive,” added Ecclestone according to the Independent. We just need to write the regulation to achieve that, and move forwards.”
According to The Times and The Daily Telegraph Ecclestone is seriously contemplating a break-away from the FIA as a result of the friction.
Both broad sheets cite an unnamed senior team source as saying that the only element Ecclestone and the teams cannot take with them is the Formula One name.
“The manufactures supply the cars and the drivers and the sponsors. Bernie has the contracts with the circuits and the TV companies. Max is just the referee. The FIA blows the whistle,” the source was quoted as saying by The Times.