First drivers, now teams to pay more?

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During the French Grand Prix weekend more rumours emerged about the behind-the-scenes discussions over the future of Formula 1 between the teams, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.

According to Autosport the FIA is urging Ecclestone to increase the amount of money the teams receive from promotion and television rights.

But with the FIA’s World Motor Sports Council set to meet on Wednesday it has emerged that the FIA is proposing requesting more money from the teams by increasing entry fees for the 2009 championship from ??300,000 to ??740,000.

A document seen by this site indicates the FIA is asking for the extra monies to cover the costs of six different systems.

Two of these relate to the F1 Marshalling and Postioning System (F1MS) which uses the Global Positioning System to give race control real-time information about where cars are. It will also pay for signalling lights to use alongisde regular flag signals.

The others cover the on-board surveillance data recorders (SDR), a pit lane and garage communication network, weather forecasting and pit wall intercom. Some of these have previously been supplied to teams at no extra cost.

This raises some questions. Should these costs be covered by the FIA, who regulates F1, or the teams? Why has the FIA suddenly chosen to pass on the costs for services that previously weren’t charged for?

Earlier this year the FIA also decided to change the drivers’ super licence fees bringing in an extra ??1.1m into the federation. Max Mosley’s explanation was that the new fees mean that a driver who scores fewer points have to pay less. That is true, but it ignores the heart of the issue: why did the FIA choose to increase the amount of money it receives from the drivers so dramaticlly?

We can only speculate why FIA is going to the teams and drivers for more money.

The cost of the FIA General Assembly called to examine the Max Mosley scandal was put at 1m. And other rumours suggest the FIA had a budget shortfall for 2008 to begin with.

From the forum: Bernie Ecclestone denies he revealed the Max Mosley sex scandal

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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14 comments on “First drivers, now teams to pay more?”

  1. You would have thought $100 million would be enough. If the FIA is short of money it is because Max sold his mate 100 years of the commercial rights for two tubes of Smarties and a Crunchie. Had he done anything approaching an honest deal the FIA would be rolling in money. Instead of that Max wants to alienate all the participants.

  2. These $$$ demands are just playing into Bernie’s hands.
    The more S&Max dips into the drivers/teams pockets, the more likely a breakaway series becomes.

    Bullet, foot anyone?

  3. Oh, yes, Peril, you’re right bigtime.

    Max is pushing the teams into Bernie’s arms. What is going on here??? Surely Max can’t be this stupid.

    One only can imagine what would’ve happened if the FIA didn’t get that $100M jackpot from McLaren last year.

  4. This is what I have been saying all along.
    Max (up until the last time he spoke in public) was supposedly doing things which would encourage new teams, manufacturers and drivers into F1.
    But now it appears that all along he and his FIA bully-boys would rather just increase the costs of those already in the sport!
    At a time when the teams are being called on to cut their own costs, isn’t this all a bit ludicrous?
    Also, thanks Keith for finding what the increased costs will relate to, but what exactly are the teams paying for at the moment? I think if you looked at the real costs of things trackside, even over a season, it wouldn’t come to EUR 300,000.00!
    I can see teams like Honda and Red Bull deciding that F1 isn’t worth the money, since there are other far more exciting race series to be involved in, without all this extra hassle…..

  5. Just to be clear, the money from McLaren last year is being handled by the FIA’s separate Motor Sport Development Fund. The committee responsible for deciding where that money goes has various ‘big names’ on it, including Mosley, Michael Schumacher and Norbert Haug.

    A few more details on what the FIA is asking the teams to pay for are here.

  6. It seems that all the proposed ideas are worthwhile. The FIA doesn’t have the money sitting around to implement all of these. The track owners certainly do not have the money to pay for these either after paying Bernie to host the race.
    It seems that Bernie and his financial backers CVC have all the money. :)
    Max wants more money to go to the teams, but also wants improvements.
    I think it’s a bit of pressure on Bernie to help the teams out.

  7. Yes, but Max wants the teams to have more money, so that they can pay FIAs increased costs……
    Which means that Max wants his share of the TV takings too…..
    I can see where Max and Bernie are falling out now, and why maybe Bernie and CVC aren’t thinking in the same direction….
    Is this any way to run a major motorsport?
    Presumably all these gizmos will be transported to each circuit by the FIA and not be permenantly fitted, otherwise Bernie would be expecting the circuits to pay for them (as he does already for the new lighting).
    I’m surprised Bernie hasn’t already suggested that if the teams cannot pay for the gizmos then they cannot play next year….

  8. Why do I think Gordon Brown would fit in perfectly taking over Max Moseleys role! ;-)

  9. Rob: If things get any more complicated, that question is sure to pop into every team’s, sponsor’s, and manufacturer’s mind. Perhaps Bernie is playing his hand with that thought in mind.

  10. “The committee responsible for deciding where that money goes has various ‘big names’ on it, including Mosley, Michael Schumacher and Norbert Haug.”

    Norbert Haug helps decide where that money goes? I find that a little ironic…

  11. michael counsell
    24th June 2008, 20:46

    I totally agree with Chalky.

    It seems to me that by dividing the commercial and the regulatory side of F1, the money isn’t getting to the FIA to fund new systems which the teams want. Surely some kind of new deal is required because whatever is happening at he moment isn’t working. If the FOM ran these systems they could get in sponsors to pay for these things (in the same way as the timing) but I guess the FIA isn’t allowed to do this as it is non commercial. I’m sure there are plenty of companies that would love to boast about any association with the operational side of F1 as they do with pretty much every other aspect.

  12. I thought that Max would be more careful with his retribution. I get the feeling that BMW, McLaren, Honda, and Toyota will face some additional “penalties” at some upcoming races.

    Sorry to be so cynical, but Max has put us fans in a positions where we can’t really react any other way.

  13. Dan M, yep he does, want more irony?, so does Jean Toad.

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