McLaren: Brawn should get TV money

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes it would be 'hypocritical' of his rivals to try and block Brawn GP's television rights money for 2009

McLaren: Brawn should get TV money

Renault boss Flavio Briatore plans to table a motion at the next meeting of the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA), which takes place after the Bahrain Grand Prix, to stop Brawn GP being given rights money that had been due to Honda Racing.

As a new team Brawn GP is not theoretically eligible for television money, but FOTA members agreed last month that they would waive their right to get it instead because they wanted to help the Brawn outfit.

However, with Briatore furious about the extra costs his team has to fork out to develop a Brawn GP-type double diffuser, he now wants teams to go back on that deal and keep the money for themselves.

Whitmarsh, who is head of FOTA's sporting group, believes it was wrong to start kicking up a fuss simply as a result of what has happened on track.

"At the moment we've undertaken as a team to support Brawn," he said. "Clearly, there's a lot of support given by this team and Mercedes during the winter because we saw the importance of keeping Brawn in F1.

"It would now be hypocritical, because it happens to be painful for us because they're competitive to not want to give them a proportion of the distribution under Concorde."

He added: "We need some calmness within FOTA - there's a FOTA meeting called for after Bahrain and we need to calm down.

"As a team, we've generally stayed out of it because we can see the potential for causing a lot of flamboyant gestures. The world is in an economic crisis, the automotive sector is going through a tough time and what F1 should be doing is acting responsibly, remaining calm, making sure we work together and that's certainly our view.

"We've said that we support Brawn. We've said that we're going to, in that they're considered a new entry, distribute Concorde monies to them, and we should do what we said we were going to do."

Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug believes Briatore had to share some of the criticism about the rules himself - as teams themselves had left loopholes in the regulations for teams to exploit.

"If they got a different interpretation of the rules we need to question ourselves - did we all influence the rules in the right way, were they written in the correct way and that is what we need to discuss in the future," said Haug.

"I can understand Flavio's position. But being self-critical, were the rules written precisely enough? Is that only an FIA issue? For me, clearly it is not only an FIA issue. It's an issue of everybody involved.

"You need to be as precise as you can possibly be, which is not an easy one. But we need to be critical on these issues. Of course, you get more support if you are a team in the middle of the field than you get when you are winning.

"You know the old phrase - at the first win everyone comes and congratulates you, at the second time they hit on you! We experience that, it's normal. It's a competitive environment."

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