MONACO May 23 The future face of Formula One
should be decided in the next few months with the sport's
governing body yet to play what could be a key hand, Mercedes
team principal Ross Brawn said on Wednesday.
The immediate spotlight has been on plans for the flotation
of Formula One, with an announcement this week that three
investment firms have bought a 21 percent stake in the sport
from private equity firm CVC Capital.
The flotation is expected to be completed in Singapore next
Formula One, run by 81-year-old Briton Bernie Ecclestone,
secured the commercial rights of the sport in a 100-year deal
agreed with the governing International Automobile Federation
(FIA) in 2001.
That deal also contained a so-called 'Don King clause',
named after the controversial boxing promoter, that allows the
Paris-based FIA to bar from taking over the business anyone they
Glamour team Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull have been offered
places on the future board of Formula One but not, according to
The current 'Concorde Agreement', a confidential document
governing the sport and signed by teams, commercial rights
holder and FIA, expires at the end of the year with Mercedes the
only top team yet to agree an extension.
"I think we've got a long way to go before we arrive at the
final solutions," Brawn told reporters at the Monaco Grand Prix,
the social highlight of the season and a race where many deals
"I think what's got to be factored in...is the role the FIA
play in the future and how they are involved in the sport," he
"They have been quite quiet so far but they will have an
involvement in the sport and I'm reasonably confident that we'll
find sensible solutions in the future. I don't think things are
Mercedes were involved in Formula One in the 1950s, as well
as having a huge presence in pre-World War Two grand prix
racing, but pulled out in 1955 before returning as an engine
supplier with McLaren in 1994 and then buying champions Brawn GP
at the end of 2009.
Five-times world champion Juan Manuel Fangio raced for
Mercedes in 1954 and 1955, partnered by British great Stirling
Moss in that final year.
Mercedes GP chief executive Nick Fry said at the Spanish
Grand Prix this month that CVC needed to reach an agreement with
Mercedes before any flotation could be successful and this
needed to be done "fairly quickly".
Brawn said the sport had to keep its "lifeblood" with an
independent governing body to police it and provide an unbiased
viewpoint against vested interests.
"We can't do that ourselves, for sure. The teams have always
demonstrated it's very difficult in a very competitive
environment to be self-policing," he added.
"So I think we'll see in the next few months clearly where
the FIA stand on all of this... It might go on longer but I
think in the next few months it will become clear what the shape
of Formula One is in the future."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)