Ecclestone gets boost from agreement

Updated: July 18, 2005, 5:34 PM ET
Associated Press

VIENNA, Austria -- Red Bull Racing joined Ferrari on Monday in agreeing to extend Formula One's commercial deal through 2012.

The commitment from the teams boosts Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone's chances of retaining control of the sport he's run for 25 years, despite a breakaway series that would start in 2008.

After last season, Ecclestone persuaded Ferrari to break away from the other nine teams and sign a long-term deal to stay with his series.

Red Bull Racing said it "reached an understanding" with the Formula One Administration to keep the current Concorde Agreement -- which covers F1 teams, Ecclestone and FIA and deals with how the sport's revenues are divided -- from 2008 until 2012.

Ferrari signed the Concorde Agreement extension with the world governing body on Jan. 19. Red Bull will use Ferrari engines next season.

The manufacturers behind the proposed breakaway series -- Renault, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota and Honda -- are believed to be considering their options.

Formula One teams have complained that Ecclestone shares little of the sport's commercial rights income, which was estimated at $800 million in 2003. Teams receive about 23 percent.

Having operated Formula One for 25 years, Ecclestone has amassed a fortune estimated at $3.7 billion.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press