Bernie Ecclestone is not ready to step back from the risk of dragging F1 into civil war according to an interview in The Times (usually Ecclestone’s preferred newspaper for this sort of annuncement). He has again raised the possibility of F1 splitting from the FIA:
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. 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.
According to The Times this is part of a larger interview which it appears has not been published in full yet.
Is this an empty threat or is Ecclestone serious? The teams have shown little interest in following him down the path of taking F1 away from the FIA.
Ecclestone also said: “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.”
But is it not equally true that the same rules would prevent FOM, the commercial rights holders of Formula 1, from being responsible for its regulations? These are just some of the reasons why I find it hard to take Ecclestone’s threat seriously.