Bernie Ecclestone has taken the huge step of admitting in public that the distribution of funds among the F1 teams is not equitable – and that he is responsible.
Ecclestone insists that he will attempt to address the issue and try to save the ailing teams, although contracts make that difficult.
“I know what’s wrong, but don’t know how to fix it,” he told PA and other British media outlets. “No-one is prepared to do anything about it because they can’t. The regulations have tied us up. If we were in a position where we could help these teams in trouble, we would do it. But we are not allowed to.
“If one team is given $10,000, everyone has to have 10,000. The trouble with lots of regulations and lots of contracts is we don’t think long term.”
Regarding the specifics of the distribution of the F1 fund, he said: “It makes no difference to me how the money is shared out.
“If they sat down here with me now and said they want to share out all of the money they get in a different way, I would say, ‘Good, give me the bit of paper’.
“The problem is there is too much money being distributed badly – probably my fault – but, like lots of agreements people make, they seemed a good idea at the time.”
Ecclestone said it wouldn’t be easy to override the existing deals: “I would say to people getting a chunk of money that I would like to take a percentage of their performance-related payment. I would put that money together to divide among the three or four we know are in trouble, and then I would put in the same amount of money. But there would not be one team that would think it was a bloody good idea.
“In the old days, the people sitting around a table would be the guys who could say yes or no. They would ask me to sort it out and it would be sorted. But none of the modern guys can agree anything, even if they wanted to. They all have to report back to somebody.
“I’d take all the money, pay all the teams’ debts that should be paid so people haven’t suffered because of Formula One, and people haven’t got credit for Formula One.
“I’d then say this is what you are going to get next year, this is the amount of money we’ve got, and this is what is going to happen from now on in. It’s percentages. It’s a case that the people involved in the sport will have to want to look after the sport and be prepared to make some sacrifices.”