Formula 1

Ferrari to Get $50m Annual Bonus in F1

Ecclestone is on the verge of concluding a new Concorde agreement; McLaren and Red Bull to get $35m.

Ferrari, the biggest name in Formula 1, has agreed a new deal with Bernie Ecclestone in return for an annual 'bonus' of $50m on top of the TV revenue it's entitled to from Formula One Management (FOM) according to various media reports. Discussions have taken place with all the teams over the last few months, as the current Concorde agreement (the contract that regulates F1 money distribution) expires at the end of the 2012 season.

Ferrari recently withdrew from FOTA, the teams' organization that in 2009 threatened to create a breakaway series. Bernie Ecclestone, FOM chief executive, announced during the Malaysian Grand Prix last week that three teams have already signed up to the new Concorde agreement, namely Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren; though the later has yet to confirm this piece of news. Red Bull and McLaren are expected to receive an annual bonus of $35m. Among the old teams only Williams hasn't signed up to Ecclestone's offer, hence the surprising departure of Williams Group CEO Adam Parr this week.

It is expected that Frank Williams, a longtime Ecclestone acquaintance, will sign up to the agreement shortly. Mercedes Benz is the last big team not to agree a deal, and it looks as if the German manufacturer might withdraw from the sport in the future. The Germans are less than satisfied they weren't offered the same deal as McLaren and Red Bull. Problems are not expected amongst the medium and smaller teams. Sauber will sign up to everything Ferrari concludes; Toro Roso is under the Red Bull umbrella; Lotus will not be able to fight alone and all the other teams are in need of Ecclestone's favors.

So now it seems as if Ecclestone has signed the team to his plans till the end of the new Concorde agreement that runs to the end of 2017. By then he will be 87. His plans might include an IPO of the sport on an Asian stock exchange as well as adding a few teams as shareholders.

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