Ferrari could lose the annual $100 million bonus it receives from Formula 1 following Liberty Media Group’s official takeover of the sport, according to Forbes.
Ferrari, which has competed in every Formula 1 world championship since the series was founded in 1950, receives the $100 million bonus each year in addition to receiving more prize money than competing teams for winning or scoring points. The team’s importance to F1 and the fans it attracts contribute to the compensation it receives, but Liberty Media is looking to make it easier for F1’s midfield and backmarker teams to compete by providing them with more cash at the end of the season.
That cash is likely to come from Ferrari’s current prize fund, however Liberty says it could increase the amount of cash it receives by putting in better performances and getting better sponsorship deals. It’s a tall order for the Scuderia seeing as major sponsorship for race teams can be hard to come by these days. The fact that F1 is largely aired on pay-to-watch networks can make it harder for teams to obtain big-ticket sponsorship deals as well, Forbes points out.
Still, Liberty Media boss Greg Maffei believes sponsorship will be the key to any funding problems Ferrari runs into if its annual lump sum were to shrink exponentially.
“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,” says Liberty’s chief executive Greg Maffei.