Abu Dhabi: Formula One teams face a stiff hike in entry fees for next year's championship with the winning constructor having to pay USD 6,000 for every point scored this season as well as a basic charge of USD 500,000. The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) spelled out the new fee structure in Appendix seven of the 2013 sporting regulations published without fanfare on their website (www.fia.com).
"The winner of the 2012 World Championship for Constructors will be required to pay a basic fee of USD500,000 plus USD6,000 for each point gained in the 2012 (championship)," it declared. Every other competitor will be required to pay a basic fee of USD500,000 plus USD5,000 for each point..."
The basic fee must be paid to the FIA at the time of application and the remainder by 30 November, five days after the championship ends in Brazil. The entry fees charged for this season were 309,000 euros per team with no additional payments required for points scored in the previous year.
Had the new charges been imposed at the end of last season, champions Red Bull would have had to shell out a total of $4.4 million after scoring 650 points. The new measure should raise at least $16 million in extra revenue for the governing body, whose own budgets are under pressure.
Red Bull are again leading the championship and can secure their third title in a row in Abu Dhabi this weekend if they end Sunday with an 87 point lead over their nearest rivals. They are currently 91 points clear of Ferrari and 101 ahead of McLaren with a total tally of 407 points. The changed entry fees will hit hardest those smaller teams who have limited budgets but have punched above their weight this season.
Swiss-based Sauber, who have had four podium finishes, face a payment of at least $1.08 million on current points scored. Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn played down the impact of the increase, however.
"We would be delighted to pay it because we would be scoring a lot of points," said the Briton, whose team are fifth overall but have one of the bigger budgets. In fact, if you're a mid-range team, and considering the fact that all the extra facilities that we pay for separately at the moment are rolled into that entrance fee, I think for a lot of teams it's going to be very similar," he added.
"It's going to make more substantial difference for those teams who finish in the top three or four of the championship. I was being a bit flippant, but obviously I hope that we can have that problem next year."