Bernie Ecclestone rules out CVC giving more money to Lotus, Sauber & Force India
£100 million fighting fund had been reported earlier in the week
By William Esler
Last Updated: 25/11/14 5:50pm
Bernie Ecclestone has ruled out CVC Capital Partners giving more money to Lotus, Sauber and Force India to help ease their financial pressures.
It was reported on Tuesday that F1’s majority shareholder were set to provide a £100 million fund to the three teams as they press for a greater share of the sports revenue.
With Marussia being wound up and Caterham in administration the midfield teams had hoped their case would gain greater impetus with a boycott of the U.S. GP even rumoured.
Ecclestone, though, says he cannot give the three teams any more money and it is up to rivals to relinquish some of their income.
“We’re not allowed to,” he told Sky Sports F1.
“The only way that that could ever happen is if the teams agree to share their money. They are getting nearly a billion, so maybe they can chip a few quid in between them.”
However, Lotus owner Gerard Lopez thinks the proposals put forward will happen and is pushing for them to be in place before the season finale.
“Whatever doesn’t get done now, typically in F1, never gets done," he said. "So it’s not a conviction we have, it’s something that we want to happen before Abu Dhabi.
“I don’t see why it shouldn’t happen. There’s certain things to discuss, it’s not rocket science. We know what is needed, we are very forthcoming, transparent with information, proving that our idea would guarantee F1 teams for ten years if need be without any additional cost beyond a fractional payment.
“The second thing is, in terms of what’s going to happen – the proposal is done – CVC has pretty much accepted it so I don’t see why it wouldn’t happen.
“The big teams - what they think – we have our issues to solve, they have their issues but I heard a Team Principal yesterday say those contracts were signed a while ago and signed agreements are there to be accepted. Well the engine unfreeze agreement was signed a while ago and it doesn’t seem to be a problem to be discussing that, from the same teams.”
Meanwhile, Ecclestone had harsh words for Caterham's crowdfunding scheme, which was launched on Friday and is aimed at raising £2.35 million in a week to get them to the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
"I think it's a disaster," he was quoted as saying by Reuters. "We don't want begging bowls. If people can't afford to be in Formula One, they have to find something else to do."
Asked whether he would help the team if they fell slightly short of their target, Ecclestone’s response was a brief: "No.”
When pressed, he added: "If I sit in a poker game and I can't afford to be there with the other people, I get killed and have to leave.”
Ecclestone went on to blame the business model of certain teams for the problems they find themselves in and stated he never overspent when he owned Brabham.
"The trouble is they haven't really understood,” he continued.
"People want to win, all the teams here want to win. Some teams have got more money and they spend it.
"When I had a race team a few years ago, in fact a few hundred years ago, I used to run the team according to how much money we could spend and we won the world championship.
"That's what they don't do. They don't seem to understand that somebody is going to be last."
That point, though, is fiercely contested by Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn who told The F1 Show: “It is not about somebody having the right business model or not, there is enough there that can be distributed in a different way and you don’t have anybody at any end.”