Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn wants Formula 1’s new owners to put the issue of financial inequality among the teams at the top of its priorities.
Five teams, Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren and Williams, are currently the recipients of bonus payments in addition to monies they are awarded according to where they finish in the championship standings, just like the other teams.
Smaller teams therefore say the system is skewed unfairly in favour of the big teams who are guaranteed millions of dollars regardless of how they perform on the track.
But with current contracts binding the teams to the sport until 2020, it’s unlikely Sean Bratches, F1’s new commercial director, will offer much change to the teams in the short term.
Manor’s demise this week however is also a reality check for Formula 1 and underlines Kaltenborn’s worries and the need for change sooner rather than later.
“I certainly hope that it’s not going to drag on until 2020 because I’m sure that when people make such an investment, they do have a business plan in place that should start working when they take over and not start working in 2020,” Kaltenborn told Racer.
The Swiss outfit’s team principal clearly considers the bonus system as both unethical and unlawful, and Sauber, along with Force India, has even filed a complaint with European Union authorities denouncing Formula 1’s governance.
“The kind of system we have and what you hear from the new owners, we don’t see how the system is going to work until 2020, if certain financial privileges are given irrespective of what the result is.
“If you want to make the competition come closer you can also not work like this. So I think everything has to be looked at, and we have a completely new basis.”
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