Force India boss hits back at Haas over Formula 1 payment system

Force India boss Vijay Mallya is "disappointed" that fellow team owner Gene Haas has expressed support for Formula 1's current income distribution system

Force India boss hits back at Haas over Formula 1 payment system

Haas and Force India are among the few teams that have no special deal on top of the regular performance-based prize fund, and Mallya has long campaigned for a fairer split of income.

Formula 1 team payments for 2017 revealed

F1 CEO Chase Carey has also made it clear Liberty Media wants the system to change, in part to help to close up the grid.

But Haas recently argued that the current method of long-established teams receiving a greater percentage of commercial income was fair, arguing F1 should not follow a "socialistic-type structure".

Those comments have angered Mallya.

"I find it actually disappointing that such a new entrant in F1, who has no previous experience of owning an F1 team, makes such a profound statement," the Force India team principal told Autosport.

"Anybody looking at the income distribution pattern of F1 will immediately, without even being prompted, realise how lopsided it all is.

"Clearly the DNA of F1 must include independent teams, not just manufacturer teams.

"And independent teams need to be able to be financially viable and able to compete.

"So I was particularly happy when Liberty Media and Chase Carey effectively said what Force India has been pleading for a while now: that the income distribution needs to be revisited, and adjusted to be fair to the smaller teams as well.

"For Haas to make such a profound statement, I obviously found that to be disappointing."

Mallya believes Haas's comments were prompted by his team's affiliation with Ferrari, for which the current payment arrangements are particularly beneficial.

"It's pretty obvious from the Haas car that they are more than just associated with Ferrari," he said.

Though the existing F1 payment system is generally considered set in stone until the current Concorde Agreement expires in 2020, Mallya has not given up on earlier changes.

"I see no reason why it won't happen before 2020," he said.

"I've read that Chase doesn't like the so-called Concorde Agreement, which in his view should never have existed.

"I think he's made it clear that the independent arrangements that various teams made with Bernie were not good for the sport, and actually prevented a level and competitive field.

"I was encouraged to hear FOM, for the very first time, speak my language.

"It's all a question of how quickly they get the act together."

Mallya is also encouraged by Ferrari and Red Bull indicating for the first time that they would prefer to spend less, especially on R&D.

"I think that a whole bunch of factors have come together to cause this change in thinking," he said.

"Ferrari is a listed company, and if they spend less, they make more, and that has an impact on their market capitalisation.

"I've often wondered why people would not support a cost cap in the past, but now it's becoming clearer that there's a shift in mindset."

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