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DATE News (chronologically)
03/23/11
nassprint
A look at Scott Speed's contract  
Sacked F1 and sacked NASCAR driver Scott Speed
Scott Speed’s lawsuit against Red Bull Racing for releasing him after last season continues in the North Carolina court system. Among the various items presented by both sides are parts of the contract Speed had with the team.

Unlike contracts for athletes in many pro sports, details of driver contracts are rarely publicized. Typically, the only time details from driver contracts emerge is in court as is the case this time.

Speed contends in his lawsuit that Red Bull failed to provide the proper equipment and resources to succeed in the Sprint Cup Series. Red Bull denies the charge. Speed is suing Red Bull for $6.5 million.

Court documents reveal a few things about the contract between Speed and Red Bull, such as:

# On Jan. 1, 2008, according to court documents, Speed signed a three-year contract with Red Bull. Here’s how Speed was paid:

His base salary was $300,000 in 2008.
His base salary was $500,000 in 2009
His base salary was $1,000,000 in 2010

Along with the base salary, Speed collected part of the race winnings. This was how much he earned (this was the same for each year 2008-2010):

He received 50 percent of the prize money for any finish of 1st through 10th
He received 45 percent of the prize money for any finish between 11th and 20th
He received 40 percent of the prize money for any finish of 21st and worse.

# On June 10, 2008, according to court documents, Speed’s contract was amended. The renewal term was extended from 2 years to 3 years. So, the original contract went from 2008-2010 with a three-year renewal available. This was how much he was to be paid for those additional years:

His base salary would increase to $1.5 million for 2011
His base salary would increase to $2 million for 2012
His base salary would increase to $2.5 million for 2013

The percentage he received from race winnings would be the same as the original contract.

# On Jan. 19, 2010, according to court documents, Speed’s contract was changed. His base salary for the 2010 season was cut in half from $1 million to $500,000. What he earned on race winnings remained unchanged.

# Court documents state that in May 2010, Red Bull exercised its option to renew Speed’s contract for three years through the 2013 season.

# Court documents state that on Nov. 23, 2010, Red Bull terminated the deal.

Red Bull Racing states it was well within its right of releasing Speed based on a performance clause in the driver’s contract that read:

“Performance: … Team, during each year of this Agreement (including the Renewal Term) may terminate this Agreement immediately should Driver compete in a regular, full season schedule of race events in any racing series … during a given year and finish the end of such year’s Competition Season in sixteenth (16th) place or worse in such Competition Season’s year-end point standings. Team will ensure that Driver will be given Race Cars and supporting equipment that will be satisfactory enough for a driver of Driver’s experience and skill level to reasonably achieve the aforementioned results.’’ Hampton Roads.com

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