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Ecclestone: FOM could not be part of breakaway

NEWS STORY
19/06/2008

Talking to BBC Sport, Bernie Ecclestone has said that (his company) Formula One Management could not be part of any breakaway (F1) race series, since it is contractually tied to the official Formula One World Championship sanctioned by the FIA.

However, the Englishman insists that should there be a failure to agree a new Concorde Agreement, a split is almost inevitable.

"I told the teams, if they wish to break away, then do it, but we couldn't be part of it," he said. "What this has come down to is, if we don't get a Concorde Agreement, what is going to happen?"

In respect of the teams, he said; "It was simply, 'we don't have any links with the FIA, and if we want to do our own thing, we can always do our own thing'.

"But we couldn't even if we wanted to," he added, referring to FOM's contractual obligation to the FIA.

Ecclestone remains adamant that a new Concorde Agreement must be agreed if there is to be stability within the sport. However, the various factions - FOM, the teams and Mosley - have been unable to agree to various aspects, a situation which has worsened since the sex scandal broke in March.

"Early on, one of the things we agreed was that it would be in its previous form," said Ecclestone. "With the F1 Commission as it was, no individual party had control.

"(Mosley) has proposed something completely different, which the teams wouldn't accept. I don't see any need for compromise. They're just bad solutions. We want to continue with the Concorde Agreement as it was in the past."

Ecclestone claims Mosley will not agree to the new Concorde Agreement; "because he wants to do what he's done this year - say these are the regulations you race under if you want to race in the FIA world championship.

"My argument has always been, if you let the teams sort things out between them, the big manufacturers aren't going to screw over the small teams," Ecclestone continued. "If it's in their hands to help them, they'll help them. They want them all to stay in business. But if the FIA puts a rule out that suits the four big teams, the other teams might go, and if it suits the lower-grade teams because it's cheaper, the big teams might go because they could say we don't want to be part of that, it's like GP2.

"I believe the teams should write the regulations with input from the FIA - providing the rules conform to safety, and providing the teams have been around for a long time and intend to stay a long time, and confirm they will, and confirm they will support the non-manufacturer teams.

"We don't think (the FIA has the right to make the rules)," he admitted. "The police are like regulators, but they don't write the rules. They say, you did 40mph, it's a 30mph limit, you're nicked. I think the people who spend the money and participate are the people who should have much more input into making the regulations, and the FIA should control those things."

Amidst widespread talk that Mosley is refusing to speak to him, Ecclestone once again referred to the sex scandal, claiming that it is doing the sport no favours.

With the BBC pointing out that it had incorrectly described Ecclestone as Jewish, the F1 supremo reiterated comments made earlier this week about Jewish involvement in F1 warning that he hoped it "would not affect F1, now or in the future."

As Pitpass wrote on Monday, if those self-same Jewish investors in F1 can put up with the growing Arab influence on the sport, it can certainly handle Max Mosley pratting about in a west London knocking shop with a Welter of Whippers*

*Collective noun copyright Mike Lawrence.

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