Howett backs revenue sharing rethink

Toyota 's F1 president John Howett has backed calls for a revaluation of the way Formula One's commercial income is distributed - saying the worldwide financial downturn makes it essential a rethink is given some thought

Howett backs revenue sharing rethink

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, in his role as chairman of the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA), angered Ecclestone last week when he said the next step for teams was for them to get a greater share of the commercial money the sport generates.

Di Montezemolo's stance has been supported by Howett, the vice-chairman of FOTA, who believes that F1's 50-50 money split between the teams and their owners is not good enough judging by the way revenue is divided up in other sports.

When asked whether talks with Ecclestone to discuss the matter were now the next step for FOTA, Howett told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I believe so. If you look at other professional sports, the percentage of revenues that is distributed to participants is probably much higher.

"I believe in the Champions' League it is upwards of 96-97 percent of revenues that is redistributed depending on where you finish in the championship, whereas at the moment we receive 50 percent if EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). So given the current circumstances people would like to reopen that discussion."

Howett says that as well as a push to increase revenue for teams, FOTA would continue to look at ways to further reduce costs beyond what was agreed with the FIA earlier this month.

"I think it (what has already been agreed) is a very pragmatic approach that will allow all teams to reduce costs significantly, (plus) the DNA of F1 is retained.

"The intention of FOTA is to continue in the early part of next year, once the initial wave of improvements has been introduced, to look at further changes."

He also believes that the benefits of the offer of cheap customer engines to independent teams go far beyond simply the pure cost terms.

Speaking about moves to offer 5 million Euro engine deals, Howett said: "I think it is an extremely good package for independent teams.

"The manufacturers are probably supplying cash flow support to teams. We have parts in production that a small independent supplier will probably not be prepared to do, so there are many, many advantages beyond just the cost reduction that has been put on the table."

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