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Renault targets 16m mission impossible

NEWS STORY
02/04/2018

While much of the attention at present is on the teams' prize money allocation post-2020, for the next couple of seasons the pot will be shared as set out in the most recent Concorde Agreement. And while Mercedes and Ferrari enjoy hefty bonuses under the current system - the Italian team receiving as much, sometimes more, money than the world champions - it has come to light that a further bonus is still available.

F1 company documents record that in addition to the 655m paid to the teams, "one further team has the right to receive double world champion bonus payment, should they qualify by winning back-to-back constructors' world championships, and in the course of doing so, win 22 races or more".

Under the sport's old management, a similar deal was offered to Mercedes as it got its winning streak underway with the introduction of the new Hybrid formula in 2014. Over the four years that followed the German team has won four successive constructors' titles while Lewis Hamilton has scooped the drivers' title three times and teammate Nico Rosberg once.

The Independent reveals that as Renault dithered over buying back the team from Genii Capital that it had sold in the aftermath of Crash-gate, Bernie Ecclestone offered the French manufacturer an added incentive.

"I was an idiot. I said it would never happen and it did," says Ecclestone, referring to the original promise made to Mercedes, before adding that Renault "have got to do more or less what Mercedes has done".

Renault picked up 41m in prize money last season, while Mercedes pocketed around 111m. However, F1 company documents reveal that in 2015 - having won back-to-back titles, there was "a $22m (15.7m) higher fee paid to one Team, as it qualified for an additional performance related Prize Fund element".

In 2016, the documents reveal that the total prize money included "$25m (17.8m) of fees related to a new fixed payment to one Team that had qualified for an additional performance related Prize Fund element".

To qualify for its bonus, Renault must win back-to-back titles either in 2018 and 2019 or 2019 and 2020, winning at least 22 races in the process, by comparison, in winning its back-to-back titles with Fernando Alonso in 2005 and 2006 the French team won just 16 races.

Latest accounts for the French team reveal a net loss of 3.3, and in 2016, even though its revenue rose 52.7% to 119.7m, this was largely due to costs rising 7.6% to 121m as the manufacturer invested in the team which is now contesting its third season since buying the Enstone=based squad from Genii for 1 at the end of 2015.

Of course, the French team's mission would become that little bit more impossible were it to get its way and engine development were to be frozen in 2019 and 2020.

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1. Posted by The edge, 02/04/2018 9:43

"Like that’s going to happen, at least without spending 20x the 16m prize"

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