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HomeNext RaceITV F1 TeamThe Daily Telegraph
Last Updated: Wednesday, 22, December, 2004, 14:50
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F1's shareholder banks have no plans to remove Bernie Ecclestone from the helm of the sport.

Ecclestone was left vulnerable by a court decision earlier this month that should allow the three banks – Bayerische Landesbank, JP Morgan Chase and Lehman Brothers – a bigger say in the running of the sport.

The banks won the right to appoint directors to the board of SLEC, the company that holds the commercial rights to F1, to reflect their 75 per cent shareholding.

But Gerhard Gibkowsky, SLEC chairman and a board member of Bayerische Landesbank, said the banks had no plans to oust Ecclestone.

He told Der Spiegel: "We would be badly advised if we were to exclude Ecclestone. Over more than three decades he has established extensive contracts within the industry, sponsors, circuit operators and other involved parties.

"But there are limits. We will no longer allow ourselves to be pressed into a role in which we carry all the equity risk without saying a word."

Gribkowsky added that the banks were determined to avert the Grand Prix World Championship, the breakaway series that could render the banks’ stake in F1 worthless.

He said: "We take the issue very seriously. I think the market is too small and that a power struggle between the two series would harm both. But I don't think the doors are closed yet."



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