GPMA set to lose Williams, Bernie wins

The 'breakaway' threat in formula one may be about to fizzle out. Reports in the British press suggest that Sir Frank Williams, boss of the team set to split with German carmaker BMW at the end of the season, refused to sign an agreement in Munich last week.

The news indicates that Williams does not support the so-called 'GPMA' group, and – with the inevitable Red Bull-fuelled Minardi defection from the carmakers' side – could tip the balance in Bernie Ecclestone's 'Concorde' favor.

With Williams and Minardi on side, Bernie's 2008 teams would number five — half of pitlane, including the most evocative name of all, Ferrari.

London's 'Times' newspaper speculated that the fiercely independent Sir Frank and team co-owner Patrick Head have been won over with a Bernie-funded $50 million sweetener.

And the sport's 74-year-old 'supremo' revealed that 50 per cent more cash for 2008 and beyond is on the table for any team. ''And they know I mean it,'' Ecclestone added.

The Briton said: ''It's up to them to decide if they can do a better job (of running a grand prix series) and take that risk.''

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