Ecclestone suggests F1 bonus payments could end
By Alan Baldwin
LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has suggested bonus payments to the sport's four top teams could be replaced with a Premier League-style system to spread revenues more equally from 2020.
Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Red Bull currently receive special payments worth tens of millions of dollars to reflect past success and their importance to the sport, and will be determined to retain them.
"I am going to have a good look at how things work to see if I can come up with something more equal for all the teams," Ecclestone, 85, told the Times newspaper on Monday.
"The Premier League has a good way of distributing the prize money, so maybe that could work for us. There will be people who will like it and people who won’t like it, and people who will suffer."
Ecclestone's Formula One Management (FOM) has binding commercial deals with the teams until 2020.
One team source told Reuters the comments were to be interpreted as "the first shot of the post-2020 commercial negotiations".
Ferrari, the only team to have been in the championship since it started in 1950 and the most successful, receive far more money than others including a special long-standing bonus of around $70 million.
The big four also stand apart as recipients of Constructors Championship Bonus (CCB) payments which have been agreed separately. Continued...