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Last Updated: Friday, 19 May 2006, 17:59 GMT 18:59 UK
Ecclestone deal secures F1 future
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone
Ecclestone finally signed the agreement on Friday
F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone has signed an agreement with rebel carmakers that brings to an end their threat of a breakaway series in 2008.

On Friday, both Ecclestone and the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association (GPMA) confirmed they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

The five carmakers are Renault, BMW, Mercedes, Honda and Toyota.

"We've now signed our part. It's just a question of sending it to the lawyers," Ecclestone told the Autosport website.

"The negotiations have taken a while and we spent a lot of time discussing issues which were not real, honest issues.

"But now at least we have the MOU and that will form the basis of the Concorde Agreement, once we get the FIA technical issues sorted."

The five manufacturers had threatened to start a rival series to Formula One because they want a bigger share of the revenue generated by the sport.

They signed the document during the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend but Ecclestone left the Circuit de Catalunya without putting pen to paper.

A GPMA spokesman confirmed that all parties had now signed the agreement.

The existing Concorde Agreement, a confidential document binding the teams, commercial rights holder Ecclestone and the sport's world governing body the FIA, expires at the end of 2007.

Champions Renault had already announced they are committed to the championship in the long term.

Last year, Ferrari broke ranks with the GPMA's predecessor, the GPWC, and signed with Ecclestone until 2012.

The terms of the new deal have not been disclosed.

However, reports suggest that the teams - currently 11 but going up to 12 from 2008 - will get 50% of the $1bn (530m) annual revenue generated by F1.

Under the terms of the previous agreement, in 1997, teams share around 23% of the revenues.

"This will constitute now the biggest single commercial resolution and will allow us to move forward to focus on the future of Formula One," said McLaren boss Ron Dennis in Barcelona last Sunday.

"This document is only the first step towards (a new) Concorde Agreement, sporting and technical regulations.

"There is a long, long way to go, but this is the core, the absolute cornerstone of the future Concorde Agreement."

SEE ALSO
Briatore confident over F1 deal
21 Apr 06 |  Formula One
Renault hedge bets over F1 future
20 Apr 06 |  Formula One
F1 rebels sign up for 2008 series
27 Mar 06 |  Formula One
F1 rebels advance breakaway plans
28 Sep 05 |  Formula One
Stoddart predicts F1 will split
08 Oct 05 |  Formula One


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