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Ecclestone defiant over revenue distribution

ESPN Staff
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Bernie Ecclestone has told the smaller teams asking for a fairer distribution of F1's billion-dollar revenues they will not be getting extra money.

F1's unequal revenue sharing

  • Five of Formula One's 11 teams - Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Williams - took 63% of the sport's underlying revenues in 2013.
  • This means there was just 37% to share between six teams, only one of which (Lotus) sits on the F1 Strategy Group - giving that group little democratic input in the body which frames regulations.

On Monday the trio of Force India, Sauber and Lotus sent Ecclestone, FIA president Jean Todt and the six remaining teams a letter explaining their grievances at the current state of Formula One and demanding change. The letter came after crisis talks broke down in Brazil and a supposed meeting between Ecclestone and commercial rights holders CVC Capital Partners came to nothing.

The letter said the trio "cannot accept the current distribution of funds in view of the massive increase of expenses" despite signing bilateral agreements with F1 boss Ecclestone and CVC. But Ecclestone is unmoved by their concerns and says they need to consider their business models in future.

"They have a contract they signed," Ecclestone told the Press Association. "They know exactly what they signed and how much money they would be getting. What we don't have any control over is how much they want to spend. That's the problem.

"Normally in business you have a look and see how much money you are going to get, and then you decide to spend less than that otherwise you are going to be in trouble. It doesn't seem like they've followed a normal business route.

"Clearly there should be cost-cutting. There is no need to spend the amount of money they do, but of course they spend it to win. But it doesn't seem anybody - including the people complaining - has made any effort to save money."

Ecclestone does have sympathy, however, with the position the teams have been in with the introduction of the V6 power units this season - something which has seen costs spiral.

"I agree with them completely, 100%," Ecclestone said about concerns over the new engines. "They have my support. I never, ever, ever thought this power unit was what we wanted in Formula One. It's done nothing for the industry.

"Don't get me wrong, it's an incredible piece of engineering - to get that amount of power out of that amount of fuel is incredible. But no road car could ever use the same system, so the technology is nice for the engineers but it's not really good for the teams."

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