Ecclestone: ‘Two or three teams’ in financial strife

Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone

Two or three teams on the grid are facing financial difficulties, according to Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

Told by veteran Swiss correspondent Roger Benoit that ‘half the field’ is struggling to survive amid the economic crisis and spiralling costs, Ecclestone answered: “That’s not quite right.

“We are talking about two vulnerable teams at the moment,” the 82-year-old told Blick newspaper.

“Perhaps there’s a third with a question mark,” added Ecclestone.

Asked, however, if he is confident the ‘vulnerable’ teams will be on the 2014 grid, the Briton insisted: “If you had asked me a year ago, the answer would be no.

“But now, suddenly, most of the teams find money somehow from somewhere. I don’t know how they do that,” added Ecclestone.

He would not name the ‘vulnerable’ teams, or even admit that the one at the top of the list is surely Sauber.

“We’ve known each other long enough that you know I have nothing to say!” Ecclestone told Benoit.

He ruled out intervening with personal loans, after admitting to the New York Times at the weekend that Sir Frank Williams regularly used to borrow money.

“I’m not allowed to do that anymore,” said Ecclestone. “We have an agreement with the teams that it would be unfair to the others.

“They’re the ones who wanted [the agreement]!” he told Blick.

Ecclestone has, however, reached new financial deals with the big teams that give them more income than their smaller, struggling rivals.

Surely that’s not fair?

“It’s because the big teams have promised that they are staying until 2020 – they’ve given us a bank guarantee,” Ecclestone revealed.

“The distribution was always the same – the only difference these days is that we distribute a lot more money,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.

Meanwhile, Ecclestone insisted that he is sleeping well despite the fact that prosecutors in Munich are considering sending him to trial over bribery.

He rejects their main argument.

“First, I had no shares to sell, so I had no personal interest,” said Ecclestone.

“My job was not in danger – no matter who the shares were sold to, the FIA had to agree.

“But the FIA wanted to ensure that I still ran the business; because they’re familiar with me and know how I work,” he insisted. (GMM.)

Subbed by AJN.

  • =El Presidente=

    yes only two teams..

    Just :


    Maybe Bernie should be a bit more nervous about that bribery-case if he cant even count untill 5.

    Of course it stands without any doubt that Bernie has bribed and commited fraud, the thing is if it can be proven also. I think for a sane person it is as clear as daylight that Bernie at some stage did things that could not bear daylight.

  • F1 Costs Out OF Control

    Bernie has lost it, the four or five big teams are killing Formula One due to their unwillingness to get costs under control.

    Why would a budget cap of 100 million or 150 million dollars be so bad?

    It would bring out the best designs and the best teams with equal budgets for all the teams.

    You have four teams right now who can spend huge amounts of money and two of those teams are questionable. McClaren has resorted to a pay driver in order to try and stay competitive and from the looks of it they are now in decline. Honda may be their savor. Mercedes is also questionable as how long will the board allow them to throw money hand over fist at Formula One?

    So that only leaves Redbull and Ferrari who have the money and even Ferrari can’t match Redbull in money.

    100 to 150 million dollars can build one hell of a racecar and the competition would improve greatly. Right now it is the Redbull money spending show and to tell you the truth it is very boring.

  • JR

    Lower AVE due to the partial hiding away of F1 behind pay walls is the cause of problem.

    Less people being able to watch means less exposure for sponsors, which means less sponsors and/or a lower rate card.

  • BigE

    Williams and Caterham (presuming they finish in 10th) do NOT have financial woes.

    LOLtus and Sauber and an 11th place Marussua def do… and Mclaren without a Carlos Slim driver (Perez, Gutierrez) would be fcuked too as Vodafone are gone after this season.

    I still don’t get how 10 teams get paid and the 11th doesn’t. That’s just dumb.