The Sauber and Manor Formula 1 teams are understood to be the latest outfits to have approached Bernie Ecclestone for an advance on their commercial payments for next year.
Their requests follow a similar application made by the Force India Formula 1 team at last month’s Mexican Grand Prix, which was understood to have been approved.
Teams receive payment installments from Formula One Management based on a complex set of secret deals between it and the individual teams. The amount of the payments are determined by a combination of each team’s historic status to the sport and by their finishing position in the previous year’s Constructors’ Championship standings.
These payments are made during the season from February to November, leaving more financially vulnerable teams exposed to a cash shortfall during the off-season.
This period is a critical time in which the development and construction of the following season’s cars are at their peak, leaving teams at risk of being unable to make payments to their suppliers and contractors.
That in turn can delay the launch and development of the new cars, as was evidenced by Force India only being present at the final pre-season test with a barely-modified version of its 2014 car.
This was despite Force India – along with Sauber and Lotus – having requested payment advances before the start of the 2015 season to aid their cashflow as a result of a number of their own suppliers and contractors demanding early payments in the wake of the Caterham and Marussia teams being placed unto administration before the end of 2014.
All requests for advanced payments require the unanimous approval of the other teams before Ecclestone can rubber-stamp them.
Image via Sutton Motorsport Images