F1 head Bernie Ecclestone's future is in doubt after the London High Court ruled in favour of the three banks that, together with Ecclestone's family, control the sport.

F1 head Bernie Ecclestone's future is in doubt after the London High Court ruled in favour of the three banks that, together with Ecclestone's family, control the sport.

Formula One Holdings (FOH) is owned by SLEC Holdings, which in turn is 75 per cent-owned by JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers and Bayerische Landesbank, collectively known as Speed Investments, and 25 per cent by Ecclestone's family trust, Bambino Holdings.

The case revolved around the management board's composition of FOH since Speed Investments felt that it was in a minority position on the board, despite its majority stake in the company,.

Speed Investments took Bambino Holdings to court over its decision to appoint Ecclestone's lawyer, Luc Argand, and his wife, Emmanuele Argand-Rey, to the FOH board. The banks argued that Bambino had exceeded its powers by appointing the pair to the FOH board.

In passing judgement on Monday, the court said Bambino had no real prospect of defending Speed's claim.

Earlier, Ecclestone denied that the Argand appointments were crucial and maintained that the banks had no claims to the sport's commercial rights.

"The banks don't have anything - no rights whatsoever," Ecclestone was quoted as saying. "The banks are shareholders of SLEC, and SLEC has no rights. I am the CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Administration, which runs the business in F1. From this point of view, I own F1."

Ecclestone is expected to appeal, while Speed plans to hold talks with F1 teams to try to avoid the planned rival series.