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F1 money and engine talks stall

A separate meeting with manufacturers on the possibility of relaxing an engine ‘freeze’ for next season ended in stalemate.


“He (Ecclestone) just said ‘I’ll talk to (CVC Capital Partners co-chairman) Donald (Mackenzie) next week and get back to you’. That’s it,” Force India team principal Vijay Mallya told reporters at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“He recognises that the three smallest teams require to get more money in one form or another,” added the Indian entrepreneur.

“We presented our case, he said he’d talk to Donald and get back to us. And I’ve heard this before. So the option is to just wait and watch.”

The season ends in Abu Dhabi on Nov 23, after which date the smaller teams have less leverage on the rights holder with the sport going into a winter break and the 2015 championship starting in March.

Two teams are absent from Brazil, with Marussia folding this week and making all their staff redundant. Caterham remain in administration and are trying to raise enough money through crowd funding to get to Abu Dhabi.

Sauber, Lotus and Force India all want a ‘base payment’ to be introduced to give the smaller remaining teams the minimum budget required to compete.

Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff said separately that talks on lifting an engine freeze had failed to reach any agreement.

To change the regulations for 2015 at this stage, unanimous agreement is required.

“We offered a slight compromise which we think we can afford to not change the specs (specification) and the price for the customers which we think is essential in the current environment, but it wasn’t accepted,” Wolff told reporters.

“The situation is unchanged on everything, the money side, engine side,” added the Austrian. “That is it for the weekend.”

Mercedes have been dominant this season with an engine that is clearly more reliable and better performing than rivals Renault and Ferrari.

The team have won 14 of the 17 races and started all but one on pole position. They swept the front row in qualifying at Interlagos on Saturday with Nico Rosberg clocking the fastest ever pole lap at the Sao Paulo circuit.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Gene Cherry)