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GP Week : Issue 217
F1 >>> BUsinEss Marussia emerged from administration last month with investment from Stephen Fitzpatrick, boss of energy firm Ovo, whilst Justin King, the former boss of supermarket group Sainsbury’s, is in the driving seat as chairman. However, the team failed to race in Australia due to technical problems and several other small outfits needed a $10m boost to get there. “Force India and Sauber got an advance, like a loan,” says F1’s chief executive Bernie Ecclestone. “We advanced them $10m. It’s not going to happen every month. We will see if it solves their problems. Who knows? We don’t know if they had problems. We don’t know whether they had real problems or whether they were trying to get a few Quid.” Despite getting this boost, the small teams are still campaigning for a greater share of the spoils. The core of F1’s prize money payment is 47.5% of the sport’s underlying profit. It is divided into two with one half being split between the top ten teams in the constructors’ championship last year on a sliding scale. The other half is split evenly and only goes to teams which have finished in the top ten in two out of the past three years. The sting in the tail is that a further 7.5% of F1’s profit is handed to the top three teams based on the number of races won in the four seasons prior to 2012, which is when this benefit was first introduced. This bonus pot is known as the Constructors’ Championship Bonus (CCB) fund and it comes to at least $100m annually. It is guaranteed regardless of the results that the teams achieve the previous year. The money is split between Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull Racing which leads the CCB pack due to its string of four championships from 2010. This gives it a minimum of $37m from the CCB fund with McLaren getting at least $33m for being ranked second and $30m going to Ferrari. However, that is far from the end of the story. This is because Ferrari also gets its own dedicated prize money pay-out as well as sharing in the 47.5% and the CCB Fund. The dedicated prize pot gives Ferrari 5% of our F1’s underlying profit which comes to at least $62.2m annually. Like the CCB fund, this is paid regardless of Ferrari’s results the previous year and it comes in return for the Italian squad being F1’s longest- standing team having been racing in the sport since the birth of the championship in 1950. Other payments of between $65m and $150m are also made to Williams and Mercedes on account of their historical significance to F1. Overall, it gives the teams 63% of F1’s profits but there is a huge gulf between the top and the bottom. To put it in perspective, Ferrari gets as much from the CCB fund and its dedicated prize pot as Marussia made in annual revenue. Marussia and Caterham were F1’s worst- performers and scored just two points between them since they joined the sport in 2010. “It is 100% not fair that the top teams get so much but lots of things are not fair in this world. Everyone signs up and they know what they are signing up to,” says F1’s chief executive Bernie Ecclestone. He can afford to take a relaxed attitude as although the distribution of money favours the top performers, they are F1’s most well- known names. Aside from Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull, the majority of teams have changed names over the past five years alone so haven’t built up as much goodwill with fans. F1 has not been damaged by their changing identities and this is largely thanks to the performance of its three leading lights. Ferrari’s favourable deal was outlined in the Concorde Agreement, the contract which committed the teams to race in F1, governed their commercial terms and confirmed the regulations they would race under. The Concorde was signed by all of the teams, F1’s boss Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA. The last version of the contract was signed in 2009 when Mosley was still 32 GPWEEK.com // 32 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: