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Bernie can wait: Dennis
Alan Baldwin | January 25, 2005 10:32 IST
Formula One teams have no need to rush into an agreement with commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone just because Ferrari have done their own deal, according to McLaren boss Ron Dennis.
Bosses of all the teams except champions Ferrari meet Ecclestone in London on Tuesday with an offer of far more money in future years.
Ferrari announced last week that they had done a unilateral deal with Ecclestone's Formula One Management and the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) to prolong a commercial agreement to 2012.
The Italian team's actions effectively torpedoed plans by carmakers for a rival series from 2008 when the existing 'Concorde Agreement' expires.
According to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, Ecclestone will offer the 10 teams $3 billion of guaranteed revenues over five years if they agree to a new agreement tying them to his championship until 2012.
It said each team will be offered a minimum of $40 million per season from the end of 2007 as well as a signing-on fee of more than $35 million and other smaller sums.
But Ecclestone, 74, is demanding that they sign up before the start of the season in Australia on March 6.
The rival Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC), which now includes just Mercedes, BMW and Renault as its members after Ferrari's surprise move, plans to outline its own blueprint to teams next month.
Dennis, whose team is powered and part-owned by Mercedes, said the teams should bide their time.
"This is very much being presented as a 2008 solution and we have a current agreement which is in force to the end of 2007," he said.
"I have obviously discussed (the matter) with several other teams during the course of the weekend," he said.
"At the moment I have failed to talk to a team that does not have a similar view to ours which is that we must be open-minded and patient and we'll consider the best position for our teams and the best position for the future of Formula One, but in the right timescale.
"At the moment none of the proposals have any relevance at all to the period between now and the end of 2007 so there's no incentive to rush into any new agreement.
"That's probably not been the case with Ferrari," he added.
"I presume they have had some financial inducement to enter into some sort of agreement sooner but that's certainly not as I understand it a situation that exists with any of the other teams and certainly not McLaren."
The team bosses will meet FIA president Max Mosley on Friday, with the governing body expected to announce further plans to help cut costs and make the sport more accessible to new entrants.
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