Ecclestone confirms F1 breakaway fears- 17 Jun 2008 08:53:00
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has performed a U-turn by warning that ill-feeling towards FIA president Max Mosley could lead to teams forming a breakaway championship.
Ecclestone had previously played down the threat after Mosley won a vote of confidence as president of governing body the FIA despite newspaper allegations that he was involved in a Nazi-style orgy with five prostitutes.
Ecclestone stated: ‘The teams can do what they like. To keep sponsors happy, we are trying to say we can't break away. But it could well be that it will happen.’
Ecclestone pointed out that the failure of F1's power-brokers to renew the Concorde Agreement, the document which governed the sport from 1981 to 2007, means the teams are free agents.
‘What the FIA doesn't have, which is the most important thing for them, is an agreement with the teams they would have with the Concorde Agreement. There is no agreement between the teams and the FIA. There is a commercial agreement that has been signed by the teams and Formula One Management, so the teams can do what they like.’
Ecclestone has been discussing a revised Concorde Agreement with the teams, but Mosley has, according to sources, made it clear he does not want to renew it.
That effectively means any checks on his power as FIA president, which were enshrined in the Concorde Agreement, no longer exist.
He has already disbanded the F1 Commission, the body which until last year agreed the F1 rules before they were rubber-stamped by the FIA World Council.
The 68-year-old Mosley has launched a legal action against the newspaper alleging defamation and invasion of privacy with the case starting on 7 July.