Fair distribution of revenues must to solve F1 crisis: Vijay Mallya

Vijay Mallya
New Delhi, Nov 7: The deepening of the Formula 1 financial crisis has prompted Force India boss Vijay Mallya to say that the sport's owners must fix the revenue sharing model among teams for the survival of smaller outfits like his.

All eyes are on the future of midfield teams like Force India after the two smallest teams -- Caterham and Marussia -- failed to make the grid at the United States Grand Prix last week owing to ownership and financial issues.

It is unlikely they will take part in the last two races of the season, leaving all stakeholders to ponder over the road ahead for F1, which has not been able to keep a check on the rising costs for more than a decade.

Mallya is sad that teams barring the top ones are struggling to survive in a sport that generates revenue worth USD 1.7 billion every year.

"We are very disappointed that Caterham and Marussia are no longer competing. The fact of the matter is that all these new teams (HRT, Marussia and Caterham) that were brought into F1 (in 2010) have sadly disappeared and there is a reason behind that," Mallya told PTI in an interview.

"It is very clear that this distribution is skewed heavily in favour of the big teams (mainly manufacturers) and the smaller teams are at a disadvantage. For a sport that generates USD 1.7 billion in revenue, which is more than Rs 10,000 crore, it is sad that small teams (Marussia and Caterham) are being no longer able to compete," said the Indian businessman, who bought Spyker F1 in 2007 and renamed it to Force India.

The 11 teams shares a prize fund over USD 900 million, out of which a major chunk goes to the bigger teams. "You could run 30 cars with that kind of money. USD 900 million is more than sufficient to cover all teams. So the revenue generation is very generous, the way it is being distributed is something that needs to be fixed," says Mallya.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone too has finally admitted the the sport is in crisis. Last week in Austin he was quoted as saying, "The problem is there is too much money probably being distributed badly – probably my fault. Frankly, I know what's wrong but don't know how to fix it. No one is prepared to do anything about it because they can't."


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