April 30th, 2013 (F1plus/J. Leslie).- Marussia and Caterham’s battle for a space in the top 10 looks to be heating up as reports have emerged of plans to restrict team prize money, meaning the team who finishes 11th will earn no money at all.
The current fund for teams finishing outside the top 10 currently stands at $10 million, a vital amount of money for back markers to move forward and develop their car and team.
Marussia currently hold the coveted 10th spot after Jules Bianchi’s 13th place finish in Malaysia, but the intensity of the battle will only rise.
Former FIA president Max Mosley previously pressed for new teams to enter the sport, positions that were opened for the 2010 season. Out of the three, HRT have already folded after continuous financial difficulties.
The situation is building in pressure for Marussia who currently do not have an agreement on a commercial deal with F1 for its continuation in the sport until 2010. All other teams, including Caterham, have signed to the agreement which is the only one in place at the moment since the expiration of the Concord Agreement in December 2012.
The commercial deal guarantees each team with a share of the commercial revenue. It is not a level playing field though, Ferrari are thought to get significantly more revenue from this due to their history and loyalty to the sport. The teams are now set top share 63% of the sports operating profits, which have a turnover of $1.5 billion. The prize fund is thought to value $698.5 billion as reported by Crash.net.
A new Concord Agreement looks set to be introduced soon. The teams are ready to sign but Bernie Ecclestone, the sports promoter, is not as there are a few matters to determine.
He told The Daily Telegraph “They don’t have a commercial agreement because they are not in the top ten. We pay the top ten, that’s what we do.
“For three years we did something different because we had an agreement with Max [Mosley] but from now on we will pay the top ten and that is it.”