|Bernie can't stop teams from running each other into the ground|
As discussions around the F1 paddock revolve around finances — "who can afford to compete, host races or pay their drivers" — F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone claims to be "powerless to intervene," according to Christian Sylt for the London INDEPENDENT.
Average annual team budgets have accelerated to a record $221.2M, sending two outfits — Caterham and Marussia — "into the wall last year and there are several others at risk of following them." Ecclestone: "What can we do about the teams? Their companies are in the shit because they spend more than they have got. They can spend less money. It's nothing to do with us. We can't control people's spending. It's the same in every sport. In what I call the good old days, all it took was having a chat with the people that had the money, like Colin [Chapman, Lotus founder]. Now they come along with lawyers and can never agree on anything.
Now you get suits with short pockets, not deep ones." Marussia exited administration last month. But "are they financially sound?"
Ecclestone: "I don't know whether they have got the money to race." He is "even less sure about the future of the German Grand Prix, which will be dropped because of dwindling ticket sales unless there is an 11th-hour rescue."
Ecclestone said, "The German Grand Prix is dead at the moment." Although the sport's 10 teams were paid a record 484M British Pounds in prize money last year, the three top performers — Ferrari, McLaren, and Red Bull Racing — took 46% of it. He said, "Yes, absolutely I would be happy to change the prize-money distribution if everyone agreed to it but it's not going to happen. It isn't fair that the top teams get so much. Lots of things are not fair in this world, though." INDEPENDENT