Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Prize money system needs to be overhauled to ensure the survival of teams

(Francois Flamand - DPPI for Renault Sport F1)

Lotus F1 Team owner Gerard Lopez believes that Formula One needs to change how it distributes prize money to ensure the survival of smaller teams like his own Enstone based team and as a way of outfits to escape financial difficulties. The Lotus F1 Team had been on the verge of securing a major financial boost towards the end of last season, however 'due to certain issues' the team sent the money back to their potential partners.

The Lotus F1 Team are not the only outfit to have been struggling financially. The Sauber F1 Team are also pushing for some sort of financial control within the sport. The Swiss outfit's team principal Monisha Keltenborn suggested last week that a cost cap would be easy to police as the FIA could introduce a set of financial regulations that would run alongside the existing Sporting and Technical regulations

Figures released recently show that both Red Bull Racing and Ferrari took home £100 million each as their share of the commercial rights money. This was far more then what the Lotus F1 Team received for finishing in fourth place as the Enstone outfit brought home £40 million in prize money.

The Caterham F1 Team were awarded far less as the Leafield squad got £6 million for finishing the 2013 season in 10th place in the Constructors championship. Speaking to the media Lopez said:

'The sport needs to find a better way to encapsulate financial equity. What was true two years ago is maybe not true anymore - in terms of where the sport is going.

Two years ago we were told the engines would last longer and be cheaper than what we had - but they are now almost twice as expensive.

Lopez's outfit have struggled to match their great performances from last season so far this season and go into this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix yet to score a point but the team are hopeful of picking up their championship point's of the season.

Lopez is certain that the sport should do more to support all the team's and not just the top outfits. The Lotus team boss believes that a financial system should be introduced that would allow all team's to have a sustainable Formula One campaign. 

©Ben Johnston 2014 

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