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Courier Mail
3 Jan 2004

Battlers get funds to match F1 elite

Gordon Lomas

FORMULA One's multi-billion dollar grid is about to be injected with more funds that will see perennial battlers such as Minardi reap a $28 million windfall for the 2004 grand prix season.

Private teams operate on a fraction of the budget of the rich squads such as Ferrari, Williams and McLaren, but a new deal has been struck that will offer F1's under-performed and under-funded privately owned teams fresh hope for the new year.

F1 powerbroker Bernie Ecclestone and the car manufacturers have struck a deal that will see all teams lavished with the extra fighting fund.

Teams such as Jordan, owned by Irishman Eddie Jordan and Minardi, run by Australian Paul Stoddart, were said to be on the brink of collapse but their future is secured with this latest development.

Jordan was forced to shed a fair chunk of its workforce last year when struck with increased financial burdens. The team lost its free supply of Honda engines and had to find $30 million to lease Ford Cosworth powerplants.

Midway through last year, Ecclestone, one of the wealthiest people in Britain, offered personal help to Minardi by dipping into his own pocket to buy a large stake in the long-established Italian outfit.

Under the new deal Minardi will almost double its budget from last season. There are massive differences in budgets between the 10 F1 teams.

The top teams are either part-owned or wholly owned by car manufacturers, such as Fiat (Ferrari), Mercedes-Benz (McLaren), BMW (Williams), Renault and Toyota.

As an example, the initial costs of building a car for the new season varies wildly between teams with Ferrari said to be the biggest spenders at over $4 million, while at the other end of the spectrum Minardi pay less than $1 million.

Another eye-opener is the cost of operating cars at test sessions with Ferrari heading the list at $88 million, Williams-BMW ($48m), McLaren ($29m), Jordan ($3.5m) and Minardi ($3.4m).

The total cost in F1, including everything from research and development, wind-tunnel tests, travel and accommodation, racing costs and team and driver salaries, was put at over $2 billion for the 2003 season.

The next step in the CART takeover by a private consortium in the US is expected to proceed at the end of the month.

A group of owners, including Aussie expat Kevin Kalkhoven, Gerald Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi, have saved the Champ Car series from folding.


$480million - Ferrari

$380m - Williams-BMW

$330m - McLaren-Mercedes

$330m - Toyota

$250m - BAR-Honda

$230m - Renault

$130m - Jaguar-Cosworth

$130m - Sauber-Petronas

$100m - Jordan-Ford

$70m - Minardi-Cosworth

* includes new windfall, all racing, research, testing expenses and driver salaries.

3,942 Posts
Thats a bloody Brillant idea, i have always wanted Minardi to do well, but jeez thats still a big gap from Ferrari to Minardi.

also, its funny Ferrari have 140 million more dollars and they are going to get their ass whiped by the MP4/19, and if those budgets have been the same for a while its pretty good Williams and Mclaren have been only slightly off the pace from Ferrari

Bring on 2004!

Just give me an excuse...
3,949 Posts
its even a big gap between ferrari and jaguar racing...

Master Tech
72 Posts
I wouldnt mind betting that a large chunk of Ferraris budget difference to other teams goes into the Bank account of Mr M.Schumacher.
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