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2015 F1

Ecclestone ends ‘cash flow crisis’ for small teams

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Amid alarming claims multiple teams are gripped by a ‘cash flow crisis’, Bernie Ecclestone has reportedly responded.

We reported on Sunday that, not including Manor’s quest to return in 2015, multiple other teams are scrambling to find the money simply to line up on the Melbourne grid next weekend.

“The months of November, December and January are the worst,” said Lotus owner Gerard Lopez, “as during this phase of design and production you spend 43 per cent of your budget with nothing coming in from the outside.”

We reported that F1 supremo Ecclestone duly met late last week not only with Lopez but also representatives of the similarly-struggling Force India and Sauber teams.

A voice at Force India told Auto Motor und Sport: “From April we have no problem, as money starts flowing again.”

So according to British newspapers, Ecclestone has responded by vowing to bring forward the scheduled release of $30 million in official prize-money to the troubled teams.

Kevin Eason, writing in The Times, said the fast-forwarded payments – to be wired to the troubled teams in the coming days – should ensure they are able to “board the transport planes due to leave for Melbourne next weekend”.

“Bernie has promised support for the teams,” Force India deputy Bob Fernley confirmed, “and if that support transpires, they will be able to do the first few races.

“We have made it clear to the commercial rights holder that we have problems, as have Lotus and Sauber. It is not isolated to one team.

“Bernie has been extremely understanding,” he added. “He’s a racer. I think he realises this is serious.”

In the Telegraph, correspondent Daniel Johnson said the advanced payments need to be approved by the other teams, “but this is not an obstacle as the sport’s minnows have not been promised any increase in prize money”. (GMM)

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