Ecclestone plays down breakaway talks

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Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has played down the suggestions of a breakaway championship in a letter to the FIA member clubs. During the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, the teams and Ecclestone has a meeting about the new Concorde Agreement, but reports said that the meeting was actually about putting up a breakaway championship.

In the newspaper 'The Sunday Express', Bernie Ecclestone said: "I'm certainly not advocating a breakaway but in theory they could do their own deal for TV, whatever.

"The position of Formula One Management and the teams and the Formula One promoters is very simple. They would like a Concorde Agreement signed in basically the same format as in the past agreements which Formula One has been governed successfully by this type of document for over 25 years which helps to stabilise the Technical and Sporting Regulations.

"It follows the agreement reached with the European Commission where the FIA are the regulators of the sport and FOM are the commercial side of Formula One. We would hope that this can continue."

Ecclestone continued: "As far as the FIA president is concerned this has now been made clear and there is not a change in the position at this time. A number of the manufacturers and teams along with their sponsors have stated that they thought the president should stand down because of matters in his private life.

"This is their and only their opinion as they are not part of the FIA and therefore do not have votes. Personally Max has been a friend for 40 years and I hope he still is. He has in his way carried out many matters which have been beneficial to the FIA and should be appreciated for this."