Ecclestone scoffs at threats to F1 status quo

By on Saturday, May 7, 2011

May 7 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone scoffed in Turkey when faced with the apparent challenges to the status quo in formula one.

Not only is it suggested News Corp is preparing a bid to buy the commercial rights, a company linked with Ferrari is also part of the consortium and other major teams are also considering entering the fray for ownership of the sport.

At the same time, the binding Concorde agreement is set to expire next year and there has been early rumblings of a new 'breakaway' threat.

But in the middle of a media scrum in the Istanbul paddock, 80-year-old F1 chief executive Ecclestone crassly dismissed the rumours as the "normal foreplay" at the start of negotiations.

"There are always these sort of discussions going on beforehand. It's normal foreplay before these things happen," said the Briton, referring to the likelihood of a new commercial agreement for 2013 and beyond.

Ecclestone scoffed at claims the F1 teams want to own part of the sport they compete in.

"I go to a restaurant in London two or three times a week (but there's) not a lot of point in me going and saying to the owners that I want a share of the restaurant just because I eat there," he said.

Fiat's John Elkann, linked to the Exor company, finally commented on Saturday, admitting to AGI news agency that he is "interested in making this sport more modern and younger".

Ecclestone however said Exor's bidding partner News Corp, headed by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, often stops short of getting things done.

"They've got plenty of practice of doing things and not succeeding. Trying and doing are two different things," he said, referring to Murdoch's attempts to buy the rest of Sky.

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