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Ecclestone May Lose Control of Formula One Racing


Bernie Ecclestone has lost a court case that could end his control of Formula One auto racing.

The High Court in Britain ruled Monday in favor of three banks, which own 75 percent of Formula One's commercial rights. But the banks do not have a majority on any of the key company boards.

The ruling said Ecclestone acted unfairly in preventing the banks from appointing board members for Formula One Holdings. Ecclestone, 73, who was not at the hearing, can appeal.

If he loses, he will have to allow the banks to appoint directors to the board, effectively removing him from outright control of Formula One. He has headed Formula One for 25 years, amassing a fortune estimated at $3.7 billion dollars.

Four of F1's car manufacturers -- Ferrari, BMW, DaimlerChrysler and Renault -- have threatened to form their own racing series in 2008.

Some information for this story provided by AP and AFP.

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