Honda website
Honda website

FEBRUARY 16, 2003

Bernie the taxman

Bernie Ecclestone and the taxman have never been soul mates but now it seems Bernie is planning to collect his own taxes in Formula 1 in an effort to support the struggling small teams in Formula 1. Ecclestone is proposing that a "TV tax" be levied on the teams which get the most coverage

"If we want to keep a high level of technology, we must find a means to keep the less competitive teams alive," Ecclestone says. "The ones which win the races are the ones who make the most money and I am proposing to charge them for it. The money would be handed back to the less competitive teams."

The FIA says that it is a matter for Ecclestone and the teams to sort out between them as it has no jurisdiction in commercial issues unless they threaten the long-term well-being of the sport. The teams agreed in principle to find money to keep the small teams in business but that agreement has since fallen apart and it is this which has led to Ecclestone's new approach. It is in the interest of the big teams to support Bernie's idea because otherewise they will be in a very weak position as they are contractually bound to supply a mimimum of 20 cars at every race.