Crisis about ‘power’ not rules says Ecclestone

15 June, 2009

F1′s political crisis is grinding on with no solution in sight because it is not about disputed rules but “power”, according to Bernie Ecclestone. The formula one teams association FOTA may seem united, the sport’s chief executive Bernie Ecclestone told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, but he believes the major players are differently motivated.

“Flavio Briatore wants to create a new series and decide everything,” the 78-year-old, who owns a British football club with the Renault boss, said. “Luca di Montezemolo has a problem with the FIA president. With John Howett, I wonder: what does he want? I’m not even sure he knows himself,” Ecclestone charged. “Everyone else just wants it all to stop so they can concentrate on the sport once again.”

Asked why the standoff continues even though the two warring sides seem basically agreed about drastic cost-cutting, Ecclestone explains: “Because it’s not about that, it’s about power.”

He does not believe the threats about a breakaway championship are serious. “Can you really imagine going to the boards of these car companies and saying ‘I need money for my new car, and I need the same amount again for our new series’?

More meetings about the crisis kicked off on Monday, but in the media the offensive continued, with the FIA releasing two statements in quick succession. The first hit out at the apparent total reluctance by some within FOTA to reach a solution, while the second responded to the union of European car manufacturers after it backed the major F1 teams in pushing for better governance.

The FIA, however, said it was “surprised” by the reaction when the dispute is about reducing costs, and late in the press statement clarified that ACEA’s stance about F1 is in fact not backed as reported by member Porsche.


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