Ross Brawn, Bahrain International Circuit, 2019

F1 prize money changes may not be ready for 2021 – Brawn

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Formula 1 may not introduce changes to the sport’s revenue structure, including its contentious prize money payments, in time for the 2021 season.

F1’s managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn told Sky that while several aspects of Liberty Media’s planned overhaul of the sport are on target for implementation for 2021, changes to F1’s revenues may have to wait.

“The’s sporting and technical regulations, they’re finite, they have to be done in time for ’21. There’s the new governance which has to be done for ’21. Cost control has to be done for ’21.

“The revenue we would like to see in place for ’21. But of course we all know in the past that’s been a soft deadline. There’s been many occasions, certainly in my career, where existing commercial agreements have been delayed of phased over time.”

RaceFans previously revealed each team’s share of F1’s prize money for the 2019 season. F1’s current commercial agreements expire at the end of 2020, meaning some kind of agreement on how F1 teams will be paid is needed for 2021 and beyond.

However Brawn is confident teams realise the need to reform how the sport’s revenue is shared between them. “The teams know we’ve got to save them from themselves,” he said.

“We want the best to still succeed. But we just don’t want them to be dominant, we want to close the field up and we want as fair a contest as we can. We still want the grandees, we still want the names. But I think it can all be done for a lot less money and produce a more entertaining package.”

Ferrari receives by far the largest individual bonus payment of any team and also enjoys power of veto over changes to F1’s rules. Brawn said the future of Ferrari’s privileges is under discussion.

“I think you have to recognise Ferrari’s position in Formula 1,” he said. “They’re the oldest team, they’ve been there since the very beginning. They’re the biggest brand in Formula 1. I worked for 10 years at Ferrari, I understand the importance of Ferrari.

“But that has to be reasonable. That has to be balanced. It must be a respect for Ferrari which doesn’t corrupt the competition. I don’t think it will.”

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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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8 comments on “F1 prize money changes may not be ready for 2021 – Brawn”

  1. So Ferrari receive the same money for rocking up and losing again?
    Give Ferrari a $20m bonus or something, what they get know, and compare that to their results is unfair and not good enough. Why will new teams come in when they know others have a competitive advantage in funds??

    I really hoped Ross would fix F1, doesn’t seem even he can FFS

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      30th March 2019, 16:43

      Just a minor point but is Ferrari’s bonus based on them starting every race in a season. So if for some reason in one race both cars didn’t make it to the starting grid would their bonus be reduced

  2. This sounds like the concessions* to big teams just to get them to sign the new tech rules?


  3. I understand the concept of a budget cap to make F1 more attractive to new entrants, but saying that limiting budgets and the distribution of prize money is going to level the on-track performance is nonsense. Mercedes don’t spend gobs of money to be faster than Racing Point, they spend it to be faster than Ferrari and vise versa. They’re faster than the smaller teams right out of the gate and that’s because they have better people designing the cars, better people building the cars and better people driving the cars. The notion that Ferrari and Mercedes are only dominant because they have deeper pockets is excuse making because the small teams don’t want to admit the other teams are simply better than them. Similar to the earlier excuse that the factory teams were faster because they had better engines than the customers. Prior to the Schumacher era, Ferrari had all the money and unlimited testing on a private track adjacent to their factory and yet they were only best of the rest. Their resurgence came, when they brought in better people.
    So Liberty are going to make their changes, the pecking order will not change and there will be more hand wringing and whining about the dominance of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

    1. @velocityboy they have better people because they spend way more money. Isn’t that clear enough?

      Also they have more people that what any team would need, so instead of designing one front wing (for example), they design 5 and keep the optimal one.

      1. @afonic , then how do you explain McLaren’s fall from grace? They had money, facilities and a large staff, yet they failed to design a quality car. The same question applies to Ferrari’s struggles before Schumacher, Brawn et all joined the team? It’s not the number of people or the amount of money available, it’s the quality of people and all things being equal, most top engineers will still choose to work for Mercedes or Ferrari before they work for Racing Point or Sauber.
        I also think you have it backward, as people who know what they’re doing don’t use the hunt and peck method.

        1. @velocityboy easy.

          1. They lost Andrian Newey to Red Bull at 2007. Probably Red Bull paid him much more to make him leave McLaren and work for a drinks company.
          2. They lost Mercedes works status in 2010. This probably had a big impact financially as they stopped receiving founding from Mercedes and had to pay for the engines.
          3. The infamous Honda period.

          Plus, they do have a big budget, but if you see the tables posted by Dieter, it’s quite smaller than the big three.

          Formula 1 is a very competitive environment. We are talking state of the art cars and fractions of a second. You can be a brilliant engineer and still lose out, because to win you have to be the very best. You could be the best aerodynamist there is, but lose because your engine isn’t good enough. As there aren’t enough drivers of Hamilton’s caliber for all teams, there also aren’t enough engineers.

          To conclude, a budget cap won’t mean than 10 teams will be fighting for wins. But first, it would help control and costs and save more teams from folding (pretty important if you ask me) and second, it would give everyone a fair chance to fight.

          Image that if performance is affected by the ratio of talent/money, it’s like 30/70 now. We need it to be 70/30 !

    2. The vast majority of most companies costs are personell salaries, I would imagine this being true for F1 teams as well. More money allows you to hire more people, with better skills, which is what the big teams do. They can simply out-bid the smaller teams when good engineers, designers, managers or drivers are on the market for a new job. More money definitely can buy performance in F1 this way. Of course the bigger teams are better than the small ones, they can afford to be!

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