F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has revealed more about his plans to scrap bonus payments to the five biggest teams in Formula 1.

The current agreement, which runs until 2020, guarantees Ferrari $70 million bonus each year just for turning up due to their long-standing position in Formula 1. Red Bull Racing, McLaren, Mercedes, and Williams also have bonuses on top of their standard prize money.

Smaller teams in Formula 1 have campaigned for many years for more equal distribution of the sport’s revenues, and now Ecclestone says that his new system will give them the chance to earn more of a share if they score better in the championship.

“At the moment they have no chance with this money that we give them,” Ecclestone said.

“They don’t have any chance. But we are going to make sure they are in a position where they do [have a chance] if they perform. Then they will be in the same position as anyone else.”

The fairer system Ecclestone wants to introduce will see prize money distributed based on the previous year’s performance, rather than the historical status team’s hold in the sport.

“[Under the current contracts] we sort of look after – if that’s the right word – four or five teams because they have had a long-term commitment with us and they signed four or five years ago to stay until 2020. So they needed something for doing it and the other teams couldn’t sign or if they would sign and they stopped, what could we do?”

The 2020 agreement is still in its early stages and will require all of the teams to sign off on it if it’s to come into effect, which could be a problem as Ferrari will not be thrilled with losing their historical bonus.

The Scuderia has previously threatened to quit the sport if their bonus was to be taken away, although Ecclestone remains un-phased by their threats.

“They’ve said it a few times [that they will quit]. I think they are genuine when they say these things. They just forget, that’s all.”

Ecclestone also added later: “Let’s have a look at it. Ferrari has been with us since F1 started so they should get something for that.”

Image via XPB Images

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Josh Kruse

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