The prize money distribution model has, on the surface of it, been reported quite a bit but as I think back to most of the articles I’ve read, it is a complex equation of payouts, bonuses and incentives and some teams have received advanced payments while others receive historic participation payments.
From the outside looking in, the press have given a relatively decent view as to the sums of the prize money and some of the nuances of how it actually works. According to an article I read over at the Independent, there was a special incentive offered to lure Renault back into the sport and as the article explains, it was also an incentive for Mercedes who actually capitalized on it.
The article, Renault was offered a bonus payment according to F1 company documents:
“one further team has the right to receive double world champion bonus payment, should they qualify by winning back-to-back constructors’ world championships, and in the course of doing so, win 22 races or more.”
This deal is said to be similar to the one offered to Mercedes in which the bonus would be paid if the team could win back-to-back titles and 25 races over two seasons…which they did. Ecclestone said:
“I was an idiot. I said it would never happen and it did,” says Ecclestone, adding that Renault “have got to do more or less what Mercedes has done.”
Mercedes received an estimated £111m in prize money for winning the title last year and they received a $22m bonus in 2015 for winning back-to-back titles. The bonus has increased due to the success that Mercedes continues to have to a hefty $25m.
For Renault, that’s going to be a tall order as their current power unit is still behind in performance compared to Mercedes. It will most likely stay that way until the regulation changes in 2021 but you never know, things can change. I just don’t see Mercedes losing their advantage that they’ve had ever since the new hybrid power units came to F1.
Renault increased their revenue in 2016 to £119.7m but as costs increased to £121m, the team actually showed a loss of £3.3m. The bonus would help, for sure, but it will be very hard to not only overcome the domination Mercedes currently has but to also overhaul Ferrari and Red Bull in the process as they are two teams between the French team and the German team.
Hat Tip: The Independent