Carmakers say own F 1 Company imminent

Diskutiere Carmakers say own F 1 Company imminent im Smalltalk um den Mercedes Forum im Bereich Allgemeines; STUTTGART, Germany, Nov 2 - Formula One carmakers are ready to start up a company that will set up their own series should they fail to reconcile...

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    STUTTGART, Germany, Nov 2 - Formula One carmakers are ready to start up a company that will set up their own series should they fail to reconcile differences with rights holders Kirch.
    "The manufacturers will in a few days found a company that is capable of starting and running a series of races," DaimlerChrysler board member Juergen Hubbert said at Mercedes headquarters on Friday.
    He said this series would only happen if there was "no final solution and final agreement" with Germany's Kirch group, who recently secured 75 percent of the shares in Formula One holding SLEC.
    Hubbert, asked what the deadline might be for agreement, suggested the end of next year.
    SLEC, previously owned wholly by Formula One ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone, has paid the ruling FIA $313.6 million for the commercial rights to Formula One for the next 100 years.
    Hubbert said the new firm, if matters got that far, could guarantee continuity when an agreement between SLEC and Formula One teams ended in 2007.
    "Maybe you cannot call it Formula One any more," he said of any eventual new series. "But the manufacturers will race in this premier series and from my perspective there can only be one."
    The new company will have a board of directors, with Hubbert joined by Jaguar boss Wolfgang Reitzle, Ferrari's Luca di Montezemolo, Renault's Patrick Faure and BMW's Burkhard Goeschel.

    Hubbert, whose company owns 40 percent of McLaren, said the carmakers were still talking to Kirch to try and secure Formula One's future stability.
    He also said the carmakers had no interest in acquiring a majority of SLEC.
    "Maybe there will be a quiet period for some weeks, some months and then we will see what the outcome is of these discussions," he said.
    "We are not in a hurry but I think we should find a solution within the next year," he added.
    Hubbert emphasised that the manufacturers remained totally committed to staying in Formula One.
    The teams, who want a far greater share of Formula One's revenues shared out under the so-called Concorde Agreement which expires at the end of 2007, are also talking separately to Kirch.
    McLaren boss Ron Dennis said that he, Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw and Jaguar's Niki Lauda were representing the teams in the talks.
    Dennis said he had been named as effective co-ordinator to document the various meetings.
    He said the teams were talking separately because "we are very keen to have a satisfactory resolution as soon as possible and to achieve that will require a variation to the Concorde Agreement."
    The legally-binding agreement is between SLEC, the ruling FIA and the Formula One teams.

    Dennis confirmed that initial concerns about television coverage -- Kirch are big in pay per view while carmakers insist that Formula One must remain free to air -- were now secondary.
    "The primary goal of the teams is stability," he insisted.
    "I don't think it's a question of pay per view or not pay per view. We live in a commercial world and it is a business.
    But he said he personally had "a problem in a third party having the commercial benefits that Bernie has enjoyed. I have no problem with someone who has created something, who has made it happen.
    "I have a significant problem with a third party that has contributed zero to the future of grand prix racing taking that commercial benefit.
    "The teams feel completely justified in asking for a greater share of the revenue stream. And the debate has always been 'What value a theatre with no actors?'"

Carmakers say own F 1 Company imminent

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