First drivers, now teams to pay more?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

During the French Grand Prix weekend more rumours emerged about the behind-the-scenes discussions over the future of Formula 1 between the teams, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.

According to Autosport the FIA is urging Ecclestone to increase the amount of money the teams receive from promotion and television rights.

But with the FIA’s World Motor Sports Council set to meet on Wednesday it has emerged that the FIA is proposing requesting more money from the teams by increasing entry fees for the 2009 championship from ??300,000 to ??740,000.

A document seen by this site indicates the FIA is asking for the extra monies to cover the costs of six different systems.

Two of these relate to the F1 Marshalling and Postioning System (F1MS) which uses the Global Positioning System to give race control real-time information about where cars are. It will also pay for signalling lights to use alongisde regular flag signals.

The others cover the on-board surveillance data recorders (SDR), a pit lane and garage communication network, weather forecasting and pit wall intercom. Some of these have previously been supplied to teams at no extra cost.

This raises some questions. Should these costs be covered by the FIA, who regulates F1, or the teams? Why has the FIA suddenly chosen to pass on the costs for services that previously weren’t charged for?

Earlier this year the FIA also decided to change the drivers’ super licence fees bringing in an extra ??1.1m into the federation. Max Mosley’s explanation was that the new fees mean that a driver who scores fewer points have to pay less. That is true, but it ignores the heart of the issue: why did the FIA choose to increase the amount of money it receives from the drivers so dramaticlly?

We can only speculate why FIA is going to the teams and drivers for more money.

The cost of the FIA General Assembly called to examine the Max Mosley scandal was put at ??1m. And other rumours suggest the FIA had a budget shortfall for 2008 to begin with.

From the forum: Bernie Ecclestone denies he revealed the Max Mosley sex scandal