Brawn moves to allay teams' money fears


While it is the proposals for the 2021 engine formula, and the desire to implement a budget cap that is grabbing the headlines, it is the Commercial Rights Holder's (yet to be announced) plans for prize money distribution that will really rock the boat.

Since taking control of F1, Liberty Media has made no secret of its determination to level the playing field by means of restricting team's ability to spend and redistributing the prize pot.

"Right now there are teams that spend amounts that don't realistically make sense," Chase Carey told investors last week. "Realistically, the spending doesn't improve the value for fans".

Laying out his vision for the future, he said: "Among our key priorities, are first to improve the race, we have groups working with the teams and the FIA on costs, on the engines, on aerodynamics, on tracks and rules. Our goal is to make the races more competitive, the action even better, the wow factor even bigger and the business model better for us and the teams.

"There's broad agreement on the direction of these goals though there will obviously be different opinions about the details," he admitted. "We do not plan to negotiate in public but to work with the teams to finds the compromises that ultimately deliver a better sport to fans and benefits to all of us.

"We have the opportunity to take hundreds of millions out of the aggregate cost of this sport and actually deliver a more exciting and dramatic sport."

It has already been revealed that the prize money given to the teams fell by 31m ($41m) in the nine months to the end of September, with the prediction that this trend will continue for some time yet. And that's aside from the plan to cap the various bonuses paid to the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren.

However, before that particular row has even begun, Ross Brawn has moved to allay the team's fears insisting that in the long run all will be for the best.

"We need to convince the teams not to throw the baby out with the bathwater," he said, according to BBC Sport. "There is a bigger discussion on the whole commercial side that needs to take place. That is going to be fierce and tough but we have the technical, commercial and cost-control sides of the sport to try to push forward.

"If we spoil that because we are having this debate about the commercial side, we are foolish, because this makes the business better and more sustainable," he insisted.

"For many years, people were critical about the lack of development of F1 on the commercial side, social media, looking after the fans, all sorts of stuff. And now we are doing it, it is going to have a price. There will be an impact to make those investments and get the thing rolling and in my view that investment will pay off in the next few years.

"It will improve," he said. "We are conscious of the need to make sure the teams have more predictability of what the numbers are."

Good luck with that Ross.

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Published: 15/11/2017
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