Is the end near for F1 team bonus payments?

According to Alan Baldwin quoting a Times article, the first shot in the commercial agreement contracts with the Formula 1 teams may have just been fired from F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

The equity of the prize money payout system has been a hot topic over the last few years and certainly ramped up due to the incredibly high cost of the new hybrid engine supply contracts smaller teams are asked to pay. Sauber and Force India filed an EU complaint over the disproportionate payout and bonus payments some teams get while other struggle.

F1 boss Bernie Eccelstone says he’s looking at that issue as we speak:

“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 said.

“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.”

In four years, Ecclestone will be knocking on the door of 90-years-old and perhaps he is trying to start these negotiations early in order to get them completed earlier, who knows?

Many have used the Premier League or NFL football as a model that works for revenue distribution but it will be very difficult to pry “heritage” bonus payments or other special big-dollar payouts to teams who already receive them.

Time will tell but it does seem that the first hint that things will need to change has been delivered but I suspect we could see a lot of saber rattling in the coming months over who is going to stay and who will leave the sport should they not get their payments.

Hat Tip: Reuters via Times