F1 News - F1 United States Grand Prix: Smaller teams to get ?base payment?
Lotus team principal Gerard Lopez says smaller teams are set to receive a “base payment” to help solve the current financial issues within F1.
Three teams – Lotus, Sauber and Force India – were very outspoken during the United States Grand Prix weekend about the need for change in the sport if more teams going in to administration is to be avoided. With Bernie Ecclestone admitting the latest issues are “probably my fault”, Lopez said talks with Ecclestone had yielded a positive proposal.
"It can take various forms, but for sure the so-called smaller teams - one of my colleagues called it the racers versus the constructors, which I like much better because it is the truth - and he gave a definition that was quite interesting,” Lopez said. "He said it takes the constructor teams a lot of money to lose because there is only one winner, but the racer teams are always going to spend about the same thing on performance.
"We're struggling for performance, but we finished ahead of a McLaren and a Ferrari so it proves the system doesn't have to spend 300-400million.
"I know CVC and Bernie have been looking at this, but it's going to be a base payment given to the smaller teams, the racers, which is essentially going to make it possible for a normal budget to be pretty much closed here."
However, Lopez admitted that some “good will” would be required to ensure the proposal comes to fruition.
"To be honest, it's really not a complicated thing to do. It just requires a bit of good will. The overall amount we're discussing, we're not talking about a half of that, a third of that, or anything like that. Once you start dividing it by the number of teams, it suddenly does not become that massive. There is a way to build a proposal in the next couple of days."
And Lopez said he didn't think there was any realistic threat that teams could have boycotted the race in Austin.
"I really think there is a way to solve this in the coming days, probably even to get to a proposal before Brazil, in which case I don't see the point in doing anything drastic that would damage the sport."
by Chris Medland