F1 divide talked down

The power struggle at the heart of Formula 1 came into focus when talk of a breakaway from the FIA surfaced in Montréal.

With Max Mosley having survived a vote of no confidence just a few days before, the FIA president’s opposition to the signing of a new Concorde Agreement is regarded as a matter of urgency by Bernie Ecclestone and the teams. During their talks the possibility of F1 operating without the FIA came up, although team bosses have downplayed the significance of that idea.

Later a mischievous Ecclestone told the media that the Concorde delay was the fault of the teams.

“Formula 1 teams are fiercely competitive, but I don’t think there’s much disharmony in their views as regards to what should be contained within a Concorde Agreement,” said McLaren boss Ron Dennis. “I don’t think the teams are the blockage. It’s very much the opposite.”

“We talked for about three hours about the Concorde Agreement,” said BMW’s Mario Theissen. “I did not get the impression Bernie thinks the teams are in the way. Of course he didn’t think he was in the way either.

“I hope we’ll get there. So far we haven’t really spoken with one voice. It will certainly require some work to get to a common position, but the will is there. I would prefer the FIA to be included and to take a certain role that is defined by the Concorde Agreement.

“Certainly there is a sort of power struggle going on,” Theissen added. “I think it will carry on for a few more weeks before we know which direction it takes.”