On this Day in F1 – 2008 “Ferrari International Assistance”
Red faces at the FIA after it was revealed that an agreement with Ferrari meant they would receive US$80 million more than any of their competitors for winning the constructors championship.
Insiders had been aware of the deal which was done in 2003 at a time Ferrari were rumoured to be heading a breakaway. Bernie Ecclestone was unashamed. “We ‘bought’ Ferrari,” he said. “We ‘bought’ Ferrari’s loyalty.” He admitted to the arrangement after stinging attacks from Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemolo.
“Obviously my main interest has always been to secure the long-term future of formula one,” said Bernie at the time of the deal in 2003.
The release of monies from TV rights was anticipated to be shared across all the teams, not just the manufacturers.
“I think this is a hugely positive day for formula one,” said Eddie Jordan
“The agreement has created an environment in which the major manufacturer teams and the independents such as ourselves can hopefully thrive alongside each other. I think this creates a very bright future for the sport.”
Yes extra money was given out but of course the reality was (and is!) that nothing is ever equal in this world.
Credit: ESPN & The Guardian