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Ecclestone looking to scrap team bonus payments

NEWS STORY
27/06/2016

In a move that will surely result in similar angry fallout and division as witnessed following Britain's decision to withdraw from the European Union, Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he is looking to scrap F1's controversial bonus payments to teams.

For last season, Ferrari, which finished runner-up to Mercedes, is due to receive the biggest slice of the $965m prize pot.

The figure comprises $87m from the main prize pot plus an additional $35m courtesy of a Constructors' Championship bonus, which is paid to just four teams - not Williams - following separately agreed deals, together with a further $70m as a 'historic bonus', meaning the Maranello outfit will receive $192m in total.

Indeed, figures made public by Autosport earlier this year revealed that Mercedes, which won both titles and all but three races in 2015, is to receive $171m in total, comprising $97m from the main pot, a $39m Constructors' Championship bonus and a further $35m thought to be a bonus agreed should the German manufacturer win back-to-back titles.

Even McLaren, which had its worst season in living memory, is to pocket $82m, receiving $50m from the main pot and a further $32m as a Constructors' Championship bonus, whilst Red Bull, which finished fourth will receive $171m in total, courtesy of $70m from the pot, $39m Constructors' Championship bonus and a further $35m bonus.

Williams, which finished third for the second successive season, and has contested three times as many Grands Prix as both Red Bull and Mercedes, will receive $87m in total, which comprises a $10m bonus on top of its basic $77m.

Ferrari's share is up 17% on 2014, whilst Mercedes enjoys a 36% increase. On the other hand, overall, Red Bull's share is down 7%, along with Williams (6%) and McLaren (16%).

The remaining money is divided between Force India ($67m), Renault ($64m), Toro Rosso ($57m) Sauber ($54m) and Manor ($47m).

Far from happy with the way the prize fund is divided, Force India and Sauber have lodged a complaint with the EU Competition Commission.

Though no changes can be made until 2020, when the current commercial deal comes to an end, and by which time a number of teams could have gone under, Ecclestone has revealed that he has already warned Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

"I told Toto not to think about banking any money yet," he told The Times. "I am going to have a good look at how things work to see if I can come up with something more equal for all the teams."

"The Premier League has a good way of distributing the prize money," he added, "so maybe that could work for us. There will be people who will like it and people who won't like it, and people who will suffer."

Under the Premier League's system, all twenty teams receive an equal share of the revenue from TV coverage as well as prize money.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by petes, 30/06/2016 3:37

"teddydub's nailed it.

Eccles is between a rock and a hard....What would you do as a team owner/princpal suddenly faced with your snecret gentlemen's agreement money being snatched back? Interesting times.....

Article is a little contradictory tho' regarding Williams. The top off they get was paid for their shafting of Adam Parr.....wonder if he'll get his old job back?"

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2. Posted by Darvi, 28/06/2016 8:15

"This would be great news if it happens - although it seems too sensible to have come from Bernie. I think @teddydub is right, someone must be putting pressure on him. Either way, if it happens it is a very positive move."

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3. Posted by ryanhellyer, 27/06/2016 12:44

"I think this is excellent news. If the goal was to widen the gap between the haves and have-nots, it would make sense, but since no one in their right mind wants to widen that gap, I see no reason to keep the existing system."

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4. Posted by teddydub, 27/06/2016 10:18

"Sorry but are you guys naive or just plain blind? The EU complaint by Sauber and FIndia was done close to a year ago. You can bet EU has gotten back to Bernie and have told him, nicely for now, to modify his unfair and "favoritist" scheme or face the consequences. No matter what you have said, a court order can cancel the contract, it would certainly not let him keep it until 2020 if deemed unfair and outlaw.
The only ones and only way a team could suffer from the Premier league system are those huge teams expecting 100+ Million of prize money and ending up not getting it. I doubt the other teams will suffer or disagree. "

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