F1’s new owners Liberty Media have suggested that Ferrari could lose the bonus money they currently get for being in Formula 1.
Ferrari are currently paid over $90 million – yes, $90 million, purely because they’re Ferrari, and are seen to be important to the sport. That may be somewhat true, but that amount of money could keep the like of Sauber or Manor afloat for a couple of seasons. Hardly fair, is it?
However Liberty Media are seeking to make the prize money distribution much fairer once they complete their takeover.
Speaking to Forbes, their chief executive Greg Maffai said: “If you’re Ferrari, you have enormous sponsorship revenue that goes directly to you. That’s going to be impacted more positively by great races. So thinking about balancing the team payments, so they’re a little more balanced and creates more fairness, has to be weighed, in Ferrari’s mind, I would expect, by the fact that creating a great platform helps our sponsorship revenue, too, so there’s give-and-take.”
Basically they want Ferrari to give up their bonus payments and contribute to making F1 more popular. If that happens revenue will increase and they’ll probably end up getting more money anyway, the only difference being that other teams will get more as well.
Ferrari aren’t the only team to get their own special prize money, however. Mercedes, McLaren, and Red Bull all get extra Constructors’ Championship bonuses. Williams get a ‘historical payment’, and Red Bull and Mercedes get another chunk of money each because they negotiated deals for them with FOM. In other words, the teams that don’t really need the money get most of it. Seems legit.
It’s all pretty hard to stomach when there are teams at the back of the grid in constant struggles to survive – we’ve already lost Manor – but it looks like Liberty Media hope to put an end to that. Finally, there are people in charge of F1 who actually seem to make sense!