Bernie Ecclestone wants to agree a new way of distributing funds in Formula One this year, but has hinted Ferrari may still get bonus payments.
Earlier this week Ecclestone said he is keen to come up with a more equitable solution in terms of revenue distribution, with five teams – Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren and Williams – currently receiving bonus payments. The commercial rights holder is keen to introduce more performance-based payments, similar to the model used by the English Premier League.
Asked for a timeframe in the paddock in Austria, Ecclestone replied: “We’ll try to get something sorted out this year.”
The current commercial agreements run until 2020, meaning Ecclestone would have to receive the agreement of all the teams to revise the contracts. He says his aim is to help out the smaller teams rather than giving bigger teams money for just being a part of the sport.
“It’s going to be sorted out in a way where the chunk of money they get on top, they won’t get … well, they’ll get it if they win. We can’t pay the people if they are not winning and what I don’t want is to pay people what would effectively be start money.
“At the moment [smaller teams] have no chance with this money that we give them. They don’t have any chance. But we are going to make sure they are in a position where they do [have a chance] if they perform. Then they will be in the same position as anyone else.
“We sort of look after – if that’s the right word – four or five teams [under the current contracts] because they have had a long-term commitment with us and they signed four or five years ago to stay until 2020. So they needed something for doing it and the other teams couldn’t sign or if they would sign and they stopped, what could we do?”
When asked what would happen to special historical payments received by Ferrari, Ecclestone initially said it would be all part of the prize fund.
“The same position as what we are talking about. That amount of money will be there for everybody.”
However, he later added: “Let’s have a look at it. Ferrari has been with us since F1 started so they should get something for that.”
Ecclestone was speaking alongside Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who said Mercedes would be in favour of payments rewarding historical success.
“I think maybe the model Mercedes got in 2012 is a base for how it can be in the future,” Wolff said. “We got an additional prize fund because we performed. We got a hurdle built in, if you win those championships, you can increase your income. We have signed up to that. For us, it wouldn’t be any different.
“You could have a base that stays if you win the championship and if you win another. A historical performance-based element…”
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