Mallya “Disappointed” by Haas Over Pay Structure Comments

by Craig Venn

Sahara Force India team boss, Vijay Mallya, has voiced his “disappointment” toward fellow team owner Gene Haas regarding his recent comments about Formula 1’s often criticised pay structure.

Haas, in his second year of F1 team ownership, has stated that he believes the current structure, in which larger, more established teams get a greater cut of the sport’s wealth, is a fair one.

Force India in particular have campaigned strongly for the structure to change and allow for a more even distribution of funds between the teams and the comments from Haas have angered Mallya.

“I find it actually disappointing that such a new entrant in F1, who has no previous experience of owning an F1 team, makes such a profound statement,” Mallya told Autosport.

“Anybody looking at the income distribution pattern of F1 will immediately, without even being prompted, realise how lopsided it all is.  Clearly the DNA of F1 must include independent teams, not just manufacturer teams.

“And independent teams need to be able to be financially viable and able to compete.

“So I was particularly happy when Liberty Media and Chase Carey effectively said what Force India has been pleading for a while now: that the income distribution needs to be revisited, and adjusted to be fair to the smaller teams as well.

“For Haas to make such a profound statement, I obviously found that to be disappointing.”

Mallya also goes as far as suggesting that the strong ties between Haas and Scuderia Ferrari, who benefit hugely from the current structure, play a part in Haas’ approval of the system as it stands.

“It’s pretty obvious from the Haas car that they are more than just associated with Ferrari,” he said.

The current pay structure which is agreed to under the Concorde Agreement runs until 2020 but recent comments from Formula One’s new owners, Liberty Media and teams such as Red Bull Racing, who wish to limit R&D spending, give Mallya hope that a new agreement can be put in place before the current one expires.

“I see no reason why it won’t happen before 2020,” he said.  “I’ve read that Chase doesn’t like the so-called Concorde Agreement, which in his view should never have existed.

“I think he’s made it clear that the independent arrangements that various teams made with Bernie were not good for the sport, and actually prevented a level and competitive field.

“I was encouraged to hear FOM, for the very first time, speak my language.  It’s all a question of how quickly they get the act together.  I’ve often wondered why people would not support a cost cap in the past, but now it’s becoming clearer that there’s a shift in mindset.”

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