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About that olive branch...

NEWS STORY
16/06/2008

It would appear that Bernie Ecclestone is switching good cop/bad cop roles so frequently these days, he sometimes forgets exactly which one he is meant to be.

Following talk in Montreal of a breakaway championship, Ecclestone was quick to deny such a plan was afoot. Writing last week to the FIA member clubs Ecclestone denied talk of a breakaway, writing: "If you have had the time and the inclination to follow the press you might well have been confused with the various statements made or attributed to me and the speculation of some journalists".

In a letter the Englishman wrote personally, clearly not the work of lawyers or spin doctors, he added: "The position of Formula One Management and the teams and the Formula One promoters is very simple. They would like a Concorde Agreement signed in basically the same format as in the past agreements which Formula One has been governed successfully by this type of document for over 25 years which helps to stabilise the Technical and Sporting Regulations.

"It follows the agreement reached with the European Commission where the FIA are the regulators of the sport and FOM are the commercial side of Formula One. We would hope that this can continue."

That was on June 12. Three days later, on June 15, Ecclestone, talking to The Times (who else!) suggests that a breakaway might be the only solution.

"What the FIA doesn't have, which is the most important thing for them, is an agreement with the teams which they would have with a Concorde Agreement," says Ecclestone. "The teams can do what they like. At the moment what we are trying to do, to keep sponsors happy, is say we can't break away, but it could well be that that will happen. There is no agreement between the teams and the FIA. There is a commercial agreement that has been signed by the teams and FOM, so the teams can do what they like."

Mosley is quite clear about where he stands. Not only is he seeking a fairer distribution of the revenues generated by F1 - something Ecclestone will not want to hear - he is also adamant that the FIA's authority as regulator is clearly reinforced.

Ecclestone, who having told Mosley to stand down, despite the FIA vote of confidence, and who wrote last week that he hopes the FIA President is still his friend, is clearly unhappy at the governing body's stand, particularly when it comes to the distribution of the revenues.

"Max has nothing to do with finance," he says. "The FIA has a clear, clear, clear agreement and signed agreement with the European Commission that they are the regulators of the sport. They are not anything to do with money. If Max comes back and says we should give more money to teams, I will tell him to mind his own bloody business."

While Pitpass had heard that Mosley no longer talks to Ecclestone, refusing to take calls from him, far less meet him, there was no proof. However, in his interview with The Times it is clear that this is in fact the case, much to Ecclestone's obvious frustration.

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