Formula 1

Plug could be pulled on Ferrari bonus payment

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GP SINGAPORE F1/2016 © FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO PER FERRARI MEDIA (© COPYRIGHT FREE). Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

The much deplored uneven distribution of prize monies in F1 could be about to come to an end, with Liberty Media hinting that they may well be about to change the current structure.

That could be bad news for Scuderia Ferrari who have enjoyed receiving around $100 million for nothing more than just being a part of the sport, whilst smaller team’s such as Manor Racing MRT receive a pittance in comparison, as they struggle to survive.

The Maranello based squad are in receipt of this so-called heritage payment, due to being the only current F1 team to have competed in the F1 championship since its inception in 1950, an honour which allows them financial and governance benefits.

The Italian squad also then receive further prize money, determined by where they finish in the championship, a system which is clearly unfair, and is certainly not beneficial to the sport.

The balance has been way off for some time, and Liberty Chief Executive Greg Maffei, believes now is the right moment to start doing something about it.

His theory being that a shakeup in prize money allocation, which would see bonus payments redistributed fairly amongst the teams, would create a more exciting spectacle for the viewer, and instead of seeing Ferrari out of pocket, would in fact increase their sponsorship takings, as he explained to Forbes recently.

“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.”

Current F1 team contracts run out in 2020, and so the possible timetable for such changes to take place, is likely to be at that juncture.

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