The Independent reports F1 boss Bernard Ecclestone says that not only is Brawn GP a bad name but it won’t receive the prize money that was due Honda for participating in the F1 series. If you recall, Flavio Briatore was adamant that the teams take another look at that situation as Brawn GP was the benefactor of massive financial backing from Honda.
Another dispute between Ecclestone and the teams is over the Â£20m prize money earned by Honda which left F1 at the end of last year. They are now leading the F1 championship under the Brawn GP name but lost their entitlement to the money after being classed as a new team by F1’s governing body, the FÃ©dÃ©ration Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
The Concorde Agreement, the contract committing the teams to race in F1, says prize money earned by outfits which have left the sport should be split between those remaining in the sport. However, the contract is not in force and although the teams initially agreed to give the money to Brawn, there are now objections to this given Brawn’s success. Ecclestone reveals that the money will not be paid to Brawn and he adds it will not be paid out at all if there is not unanimous agreement on who should receive it. “We can keep it,” he says.
Despite Brawn’s success, Ecclestone says it would have been better for the team to have retained their former name. “I opposed the name Brawn,” he says, claiming it is “not a good name, doesn’t mean anything to the public, better being Honda than Brawn”.
If the Honda prize money goes to Brawn, the teams can make up for it by running under a Â£40m budget cap next year. Critics have claimed that it will be impossible to police in the notoriously secretive world of F1 but Ecclestone says that this will be quite a straightforward process.
He explains that every three months the teams will have to sign a commitment that they are running under the limit and, as with everything in F1, the punishment they will face if found in breach will be financial: a $100m fine.
For a guy who is continually talking about what the public thinks, feels and desires; he sure seems to be missing the plot on the F1 fan. I know who Brawn GP is, what it means to me and why it is very significant. If Bernie wanted bigger, more international names like Honda, BMW, Mercedes; then maybe he and Max should think about that before they alienate the teams through the 2010 budget cap concept.