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GP Week : Issue 216
F1 >>> BUSINESS Formula Money: Is a long-term answer to the teams’ financial problems to restructure the prize money payments to level the playing field? Bernie Ecclestone: I told all the teams that I’m happy to tear all the contracts up and then we will get together and decide who should get what. We don’t have a problem – we give them nearly $900m a year. How they share it out doesn’t bother us. The payments are decided by who has been there the longest and success? Yes. It’s more or less the same as it has been for the last 30 years. Ferrari do well because they have been there since Formula One started. Is that a good reason to give them more money? I think so, don’t you? It’s probably the best brand we have got isn’t it? Three team bosses there in the space of a year. Have they got things sorted now do you think? Ferrari losing is a lot more valuable than some of the teams winning. It doesn’t make any difference, it’s Ferrari still. They are competing. If you are a promoter you would rather have the Rolling Stones not singing as well as some of these new bands. Have you met Mr Marchionne? Yes. He has done the job hasn’t he? He has got a good track record. I’ve known him for years. The FIA don’t seem to be as influential in the rule-making as they might have once been. Well they sold the rights. The Strategy Group that we have got. We made a contribution of $40 million a year to buy that actually. So you are saying that they sold the rights to rule-making? No, they sold the rights to have this new group set up in the way we thought it should be set up. Why did that cost? Surely you shouldn’t have to pay for that? No. We were really helping out the FIA because it was in deficit and looking to get some money somehow. Last season as a whole: what was good about it and what was not so good? I think the real good thing about the season 5 MINUTES WITH BERNIE ECCLESTONE Christian sYlt talks to the F1 ringmaster about Mercedes' domination and Ferrari's special status 37 GPWEEK.com // 37 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: