Motor racing-Lopez sees lifeline for struggling F1 teams
By Alan Baldwin
AUSTIN, Texas Nov 3 (Reuters) - Formula One's smaller teams look set to be offered a 'base payment' to ensure their survival after a U.S. Grand Prix weekend overshadowed by talk of crisis and the threat of a boycott.
Lotus principal Gerard Lopez indicated after Sunday's race at the Circuit of the Americas that a solution was within reach, possibly by the next race in Sao Paulo at the weekend.
"I really think there is a way to solve this in the next coming days, probably even to get to a proposal before Brazil, in which case I don't see the point in doing anything drastic which would damage the sport," he told Reuters.
Asked for more details, with teams like his seeking a fairer division of the sport's revenues to ensure they had a basic budget to compete, Lopez indicated the commercial rights holder was willing to step in.
"It can take various forms," he said.
"I know CVC and Bernie (Ecclestone) have been looking at this but it's going to be a base payment that is given to the smaller teams, let's call them the racers, which is essentially going to make it possible for a normal budget to be pretty much close every year."
Privately-owned Sauber, Force India and Lotus have called for a more equal distribution of the revenues in a sport that has more than $1.5 billion in annual turnover and hands in excess of $800 million back to the teams.
Private equity fund CVC Capital Partners, who have contemplated a flotation of Formula One, are the largest shareholder with a stake of around 35 percent. Continuación...