With just a few days to go before Liberty complete their purchase of F1, the new owners are already planning to shake up the commercial rights and payment structure. And that's something that should be making Ferrari very nervous.
Ferrari's guaranteed F1 pay-day
Up to now the Italian car-maker has picked up the lion's share of the pie, thanks to it being the oldest team in the competition. In 2016, 61.5 million euros was sent Maranello's way, as the historic 'bonus' for being the only team to have been ever-present in F1. One of the reasons being that the prancing horse brand is of extreme value to the overall sport.
Constructors' Championship Bonus - more cash for Ferrari
In addition Ferrari picked up a further 30.7 million euros thanks to the Constructors' Championship Bonus (CCB), with Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren also picking up CCB amounts, though less than Ferrari.
In total for those two concepts alone that meant Ferrari was given 92.2 million euros out of a total F1 pot of 848 million last year. But their income didn't stop there. Ferrari got a further 76.5 million for other concepts including their place in the previous year's Constructors Championship, and for having participated in two out of the last three years' competitions.
Liberty, keen to change F1
"If you’re Ferrari, you have enormous sponsorship revenue that goes directly to you. That’s going to be impacted more positively by great races. So thinking about balancing the team payments, so they’re a little more balanced and creates more fairness, has to be weighed, in Ferrari’s mind, I would expect, by the fact that creating a great platform helps our sponsorship revenue, too, so there’s give-and-take,” said Liberty’s chief executive Greg Maffei to Forbes.
Overall Liberty believes that reducing Ferrari's income, and increasing that of other teams', will make F1 more competitive, ensuring it's a better spectacle for the fans. And likely to bring in more money for F1 overall.