Wednesday 19th January 2005
Ever the slick operator, Bernie Ecclestone headed off growing rumours of an F1 breakaway by agreeing a deal with Ferrari which tied them to the sport until 2012, worth an estimated US$150 million. “This is not just about money,” said a Ferrari spokesman not altogether convincingly. “This is about securing Ferrari’s future in Formula One without the team being a drain on the resources of the road car company.” In a joint statement Ferrari, the FIA and Ecclestone’s Formula One Management group heralded the deal as representing a new Concorde agreement from 2008 to 2012. “It raises the inevitable question as to whether the FIA can unilaterally announce the implementation of a new Concorde agreement just because Ferrari has signed it unilaterally,” said a rival team insider.