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Last Updated: Tuesday, 07, December, 2004, 20:43
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Bernie Ecclestone is ready to give F1 teams an extra £260million over three years – but only if they commit to a new Concorde Agreement.

Ecclestone made the informal offer at a meeting of team principals at Heathrow on Monday.

It is designed to head off the threat of the GPWC, the breakaway racing series being proposed by a group of four leading carmakers – Fiat, Renault, BMW and Mercedes.

The GPWC plan to set up their new championship in 2008. That is when the current Concorde Agreement, the document by which the sport is governed, is due to expire.

The move would see a much larger proportion of the sport’s revenues going to the teams than is currently the case.

However, while the teams would have to wait until 2008 to see any money from the GPWC, Ecclestone is now offering to double their income from the sport with immediate effect.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "They can have the money from next year if they want.It's a lot of cash and over and above the sums they signed up to in the Concorde Agreement. I think the teams will want to accept it."

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart does not believe that the GPWC will have any answer to Ecclestone’s offer.

He said: "The GPWC will at least have to match that sum if the rest of the grid is going to go with them in a breakaway. And that's just the starting bid. I can't see that happening, can you?"

Ecclestone’s move came on the same day that a High Court judge ruled that F1’s shareholder banks should be given a bigger say in the running of the sport.

However, the banks are likely to endorse Ecclestone’s attempt to broker a deal as, if the GPWC goes ahead, their 75 per cent stake in the sport would become virtually worthless.



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