Briatore wants money blocked from Brawn
|By Jonathan Noble and Michele Lostia||Saturday, April 18th 2009, 03:25 GMT|
Furious Renault boss Flavio Briatore plans to propose to fellow Formula 1 teams that Brawn GP is blocked from being given any television rights money for the 2009 season.
As the successor of the Honda Racing team, Brawn GP has a theoretical claim to the estimated 30 million Euros of money that would have been due to the Japanese manufacturer for competing this season - a move that was supported by the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA).
However, on the back of the diffuser controversy and the extra costs teams are now facing in developing the concept, Briatore instead wants the money to be shared equally among Brawn GP's rivals.
Speaking to Italian media in the Shanghai paddock, Briatore said he would make an official proposal to FOTA to prevent Brawn GP getting hold of the payments.
"Despite some being against it, [Luca di] Montezemolo kept the FOTA united in supporting Brawn GP, and so did McLaren, in supplying engines," said Briatore.
"But since [Ross] Brawn was our technical delegate, and he forces me to spend money I don't have in my budget, and since Honda's money have luckily not been shared yet, we'll have a meeting.
"My proposal will be as follows. Brawn is richer than anyone else, because he's had his team paid for in full by Honda, plus he's had 130 millions given to him [by Honda]: he's certainly richer than I am.
"I don't want to be a Robin Hood, but when there's a situation where everyone is transparent then it's fine.
"At this moment my position is, since I need to find the money in the budget somewhere and the season can't end up with [everyone] being one second behind the Brawn cars, then the money share will have to be reviewed in full. I think it's around 30 million Euros."
Brawn GP has no guarantee of getting the Honda money because it was made a totally new team by the FIA. Had it been a simple renaming of the outfit, then rival teams would have had no call for the payments.
Briatore added that he would also push for Brawn GP to not receive any entitlement to transport costs - which are only guaranteed for established teams.
"Let's go with what the FIA said," he explained. "Since the FIA said it's a new team, then for once we agree with the federation. This is a new team, it's true: Honda officially said it left F1, and this isn't called Brawn Honda, it's Brawn alone. At this point I think the federation is right.
"Bernie refused that point because Bernie wants to send the money to the teams and the teams would transfer it. Brawn was very good in the appeal, so the federation said he's right.
"As FOTA commercial chairman I'll propose that we follow the FIA's indications that it's a new team and for three years it has no rights with regards to transportation, nothing."
When asked about the previous stance of FOTA members ensuring Brawn GP got all the money it was entitled to, Briatore said: "That was at Christmas, though. Now that Christmas has gone, we'll talk about it again next Christmas.
"Since it's a new team, it has to follow all the regulations we followed when we entered with new teams. I will propose that to FOTA, then we'll see."