Ecclestone offers cash advance for smaller teams

Mon Mar 2, 2015 11:44am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has offered advance revenue payments to Sauber, Force India and Lotus to help with cash-flow problems ahead of the new season starting in Australia next week.

"Bernie understands we've had these challenges over the winter because the (team) suppliers got so badly hurt by the Marussia and Caterham issues," Force India deputy principal Bob Fernley told Reuters on Monday.

"Whereas we've always been able to work with them and smooth it out over the period of the start of the winter, they simply can't. Whereas we used to get 30 days credit, now we need 30 days in advance.

"He (Ecclestone) suggested that we take an advance and smooth it out that way. That's going to help enormously."

Marussia and Caterham went into administration last October, with unsecured creditors losing significant amounts of money owing and now demanding payment up front from other customers such as Force India.

Silverstone-based Force India, who use Mercedes engines and have Mexican Sergio Perez with Germany's Nico Hulkenberg in their driver line-up, contract out much of their chassis work to keep costs down.

While Caterham's assets are now due to be liquidated at a public auction starting this month, Marussia has fought back from the abyss and entered the 2015 championship as the Manor Marussia F1 team.

Force India have also suffered delays to the build of their new car, which made its track debut only last Friday in Barcelona.   Continued...

Formula One commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone arrives at the Yas Marina circuit before the start of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix November 20, 2014. REUTERS/Caren Firouz