Marussia has secured its future in Formula 1 after becoming the final team to sign a commercial deal with Bernie Ecclestone.
The team had been left out of seven-year deals that Ecclestone put in place with other teams on the grid as he edged closer to finalizing a Concorde Agreement. However, following the successful conclusion of talks that began shortly before the summer break, Ecclestone and Marussia have now sorted out matters – meaning all 11 teams on the grid are committed to F1 until the end of 2020.
“I can confirm that we have reached an agreement with the CRH and we have signed a bilateral agreement,” Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon said.
Lowdon said the terms meant he could not reveal the length of his deal, or how it compares to other teams, but said there were no concerns about what was agreed.
“We can’t comment on any of the content but what we can say is that we are very happy to reach agreement,” he said. “We can move on now as the other teams are.”
GUARANTEED EXTRA PAYMENT
One of the elements of the new deal is believed to include a form of extra guaranteed payment in the event that Marussia does not finish in the top 10 constructors’ championship position required to qualify for prize money. It is understood that this “Column 3” payment, as it has become known, also featured in deals reached with the other teams.
When asked about that specific matter, Lowdon said: “I can’t confirm the content of the deal, other than to say that we are happy with the outcome and we are looking forward to the future now.”
Ecclestone had long been reluctant to hand Marussia a commercial agreement, and even said last year that he would prefer for there to only be 10 teams in F1.
“I’d rather have 10 [teams],” Ecclestone told the Reuters news agency. “I never wanted 12.
“It’s just that 10 is easier to handle, for the promoters, for transport. We’d rather have 10… so long as we don’t lose Ferrari.”