Monday, February 21, 2005

The Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC)

Never heard of it? If you are an F1 fan you certainly will. In 2008 it is possible that a second single-seat series will be started to compete with Formula 1.

Founded by in 2001 by BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat (Ferrari), Ford, and Renault in order to create, own, and operate the Grand Prix World Championship as a new series to compete with the existing Formula One Championship.

Money and control are the central issues to this conflict. The current Formula 1 structure is defined by a secret agreement called the Concorde agreement which expire in 2007. It gives Bernie Ecclstone, President of Formula One Management, managerial control over all money generated and provides the 23% be shared with the teams.

GPWC was formed to alter these economics and restore more control to the teams themselves. Based on information made public this weekend, GPWC is talking about providing up to 80% to the teams.

The tactic was working until Ferrari’s decision 2 weeks ago to abandon GPWC and sign an extension of the current Concord Agreement. As the premier brand in F1, they have demanded the lion’s share of the revenue. It looks like Bernie has done just that.

The camps have formed – Bernie and Ferrari in one and everyone else (save Jordan and Red Bull who sit on the fence) in the other. Only time will tell.

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