Bernie reaches out to smaller teams


Force India, Lotus and Sauber have received a welcome boost before the start of the new season with Bernie Ecclestone set to help with their cash-flow problems.

The demise of Caterham and Marussia at the backend of the 2014 season highlighted the financial struggles that the smaller teams face and there was at one stage talk of a race boycott.

Nothing came of the threats and the smaller teams continue to face financial issues, but help may be on the way.

Force India deputy principal Bob Fernley has revealed that F1 commercial rights holder Ecclestone has offered to make advance payments ahead of the first race in Australia.

"Bernie understands we've had these challenges over the winter because the (team) suppliers got so badly hurt by the Marussia and Caterham issues," he told Reuters.

"Whereas we've always been able to work with them and smooth it out over the period of the start of the winter, they simply can't. Whereas we used to get 30 days credit, now we need 30 days in advance.

"He (Ecclestone) suggested that we take an advance and smooth it out that way. That's going to help enormously."