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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 July, 2005, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK
Ecclestone defiant over breakaway
Bernie Ecclestone and Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn
Ecclestone and Brawn have guaranteed Ferrari's F1 involvement
Bernie Ecclestone has played down talk of a split in Formula One.

"I don't take the threat of a breakaway seriously," he said ahead of Sunday's British GP. "Even if it happened, the FIA championship would continue.

"There have been thousands of different formats and regulations over the years and lots of teams have come and gone. Only Ferrari is still around."

Seven of F1's 10 teams are unhappy with how the sport is run and are threatening a new series in 2008.

Fiat-owned Ferrari already has a new commercial agreement with Ecclestone which guarantees its involvement in the F1 championship to 2012.

The Italian team, who have dominated the sport in recent years, have isolated themselves from their rivals through a pro-FIA stance.

But technical director Ross Brawn, trying to sound a conciliatory note, said: "We don't have all the right ideas and the FIA don't have all the right ideas.

"But I think the teams, as a group maybe, could come up with a set of sensible solutions.

"We are missing that opportunity because of the political situation in Formula One."

There have been hints at Silverstone that Ecclestone is prepared to reach a compromise with the disaffected teams.

He said there was no need for a split and declared that he "wanted to stop all the nonsense about a breakaway."

Ecclestone also claimed he wanted to "put something in place where the teams inherit the business."

If he fails to placate the manufacturers and their teams, F1 could conceivably find itself playing second fiddle to a series featuring bigger names and faster cars.


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