Apr.30 (GMM) F1 teams' lagging commitment to the sport could cost them millions in commercial income, Bernie Ecclestone has warned.
The Concorde Agreement expired at the end of 2007, resulting in a non-binding 'memorandum of understanding' now governing the terms of the teams' income from commercial rights."They want to be paid in the same manner as if they had agreed to be committed for five years but they don't want to be committed," Ecclestone, representing F1's owners, is quoted as saying by the Financial Times.Should their lack of commitment continue, Ecclestone says he will use some of the teams' commercial income to subsidise the race fees paid by circuit operators.Interestingly, the FT report coincided with reports that the 78-year-old billionaire may have bought the rights to the 2010 British grand prix from the struggling Donington leaseholder Simon Gillett.The publication said Ecclestone does not rule out acquiring more circuits in the event that he pays the teams less.Referring to F1's teams, Ecclestone added: "They shouldn't get the prize money. We are now running more of a cash-on-delivery service. You sign the contract and we will pay you in full."For a new Concorde, he said teams want the freedom to leave F1 at their leisure but still be paid at the current higher rate.Ecclestone said "we should revert back to the deal we originally had - 47 per cent of the television rights ? and they can go where they like. We should be paying a lot less to the teams and charging the circuits a lot less".