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Last Updated: Friday, 23 April, 2004, 19:46 GMT 20:46 UK
F1 revolt threat returns
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has a battle on his hands
Formula One's top manufacturers have once again threatened to set up a breakaway world championship.

GPWC Holdings had reached an agreement with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and commercial rights holders last December to plan for the future together.

"GPWC has decided to end negotiations on the future structure of Formula One," said a GPWC Holdings statement.

It is not clear whether proposals from ruling body the FIA for a shake-up of F1 in 2008 have prompted the split.

GPWC was set up by manufacturers BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Ford and Renault to safeguard their interests.

BMW supplies engines to Williams, Ford owns the Jaguar team, champions Ferrari are part of the Fiat group and DaimlerChrysler is the parent company of McLaren's engine suppliers Mercedes.

If the GPWC did want to start a series it would be entirely up to them to do so
FIA president Max Mosley

GPWC said on Friday that shareholders of Ecclestone's Slec holding company had "failed to comply with key points" agreed in the memorandum of understanding last December.

"When we realised that our commitment to implement the MOU was not met by the other parties, we had to make a decision in the best interest of the sport and end negotiations," said GPWC chairman Juergen Hubbert in the statement.

The memorandum had offered teams a greater slice of F1's revenues, while Ecclestone - who controls 25% of Slec - would have continued to run the company.

GPWC spokesman Xander Heijnen said the company would push ahead with plans to set up a rival championship when the current Concorde Agreement governing the sport expires in 2007.

He added that F1's other teams - Toyota, Sauber, Jordan, Minardi and BAR - would be invited to join.

Earlier on Friday, FIA president Max Mosley had announced radical proposals designed to cut costs.

"The GPWC have said they are going to start a series in 2008," said Mosley.

"What we are doing is running the FIA Formula One world championship in 2008 for which Bernie has a contract for the commercial rights.

"We have a contract to run that championship for 100 years and Bernie has the right to exploit it commercially. So we are going ahead on doing that.

"Of course if the GPWC did want to start a series it would be entirely up to them to do so, and if they ask us to sanction it we'd be happy to go ahead.

"But in the meantime we have to concentrate on the Formula One world championship which will go ahead in 2008, no matter what."




SEE ALSO
F1 breakaway fears fade
04 Dec 03  |  Formula One
Ultimatum given to F1 bosses
18 Jul 03  |  Formula One
F1 stand-off 'close to end'
29 Jun 03  |  Formula One
Ecclestone refuses to budge
29 Apr 03  |  Formula One
Mercedes dismisses control fears
20 Apr 03  |  Formula One
F1 cash battle intensifies
11 Apr 03  |  Formula One


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