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Bernie offers teams seats on FOA board

NEWS STORY
06/03/2006

Despite his, and FIA President Max Mosley's claims, that the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association's threat of a breakaway series should not be taken too seriously, it would appear, as Pitpass has said for some time, that Bernie Ecclestone does indeed fear the threat posed by the manufacturers and rebel teams.

Why else therefore would the F1 supremo be offering the manufacturers a seat on the board?

According to a report in the Sunday Express, Ecclestone has told the manufacturers that he is willing to offer two non-executive directorships on the board of Formula One Administration (FOA).

This would mean, according to the article; that the manufacturers would be able to "bring independent views to FOA, mastermind race calendars and ensure free-to-air TV coverage is provided".

With six teams having signed up to Ecclestone's new Concorde Agreement, which comes into effect for the 2008 World Championship, it remains to be seen how they will react to the news that the 'rebels' have been made this offer, since they, including Ferrari have not been offered a similar deal.

Interestingly, Ecclestone's offer comes at a time when Mosley is applying the pressure, having warned that unless the manufacturers and rebel team(s) commit to the 2008 Championship by the end of March they will face exclusion.

The GPMA has been keeping a low profile recently, though it known that it has been awaiting the investigation by the EU into the purchase of F1 by CVC.

That said, other than money, one of the main concerns of the manufacturers is the governance of the sport, which takes them into direct conflict with Mosley and the FIA.

The power to dictate race calendars and free-to-air TV coverage is one thing, the rules of the sport quite another.

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