Marussia asks for prize money parity
25 June 2013 – Marussia has asked Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of Formula One Management, for a more "level playing field" in terms of the way the sport’s prize money is split, arguing that finishing 12th in the 2012 Constructors’ battle came at a cost of £35 million.
During an interview with The Guardian, the team's Chief Executive, Graeme Lowdon, said the way in which the prize fund is dealt with puts smaller teams at a significant disadvantage, describing it as "undue pressure" on the Banbury-based outfit.
"There are stories up and down the paddock of teams facing financial challenges, which, in this day, in a sport watched and loved by so many people, is not a brilliant advert," Lowdon explained of the current situation. "It puts undue pressure on the team. All we ask for is a level playing field. We are not asking for much."
He added: "We have been involved in the negotiations for the next Concorde Agreement but in a scenario where there is no Concorde for two or three years – and there is nothing in the rules that there has to be one – then there is nothing in place for us to benefit. The problem in motor racing is that under the current regulations there is a performance benefit in the more money you spend. You can buy success, to some extent. Most teams, if they have money, will spend it and, if you spend everything you have and then find out you are not getting it, you have a problem."
With the additional $10 million, paid to the smaller teams since 2010, recently being cancelled by F1 supremo Ecclestone, Marussia faces an even greater challenge.
"Outside of Mercedes we have probably made the biggest step forward in sheer pace. We have made a massive step forward," Lowdon said. "People can see we are doing a good job on extremely limited resources. We have a suitably obscene amount of money to go motor racing with but nowhere near the levels of the other teams.
"If we had another couple of tenths in the car, we would be troubling some pretty big names ahead of us, who have been in the sport for a long time. All teams should be treated equally. For whatever reason, that does not seem to be the case."