Carmaker consortium revives plan for rival series

Updated: October 26, 2004, 10:36 AM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- Four top carmakers plan to split from Formula One and launch a rival open-wheel Grand Prix racing series by 2008.

The group -- which includes BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ferrari and Renault, and is known collectively as the Grand Prix World Championship consortium -- made the announcement Tuesday. They had been seeking a bigger share of F1's revenues and said the new series will "maintain the strengths of Formula One, while eliminating its weaknesses."

GPWC was formed in 2001 and has been pushing since then for a bigger share of F1's estimated annual income of $810 million.

The carmakers previously had threatened to establish a rival series starting in 2007, then called off the plans after a preliminary deal was reached with F1's commercial arm in December 2003.

However, GPWC accused the F1 agency of failing to comply with the terms of the agreement. The group broke off talks in April and resumed plans for its own circuit.

"We have been more than patient with the current management and governance of Formula One, but recent developments have underlined the need for a structure that guarantees a stable and prosperous future of the sport," GPWC chairman Joergen Hubbert said.

Ford, which is dropping out of F1, was part of GPWC before passing on its shareholding to the other four carmakers.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press