Bernie: Smaller teams right to give it a go

Date published: September 30 2015

Bernie Ecclestone insists he "doesn't blame" Force India and Sauber for lodging a complaint with the European Union over the way F1 operates, but adds they knew what they were getting into when they signed up.

The two teams are unhappy with the allocation of prize money, which is heavily skewed in favour of top teams Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren Red Bull and Williams due to their history.

Another point of contention is the way rules are made as the F1 Strategy Group, which ultimately makes the big decisions, doesn't include the smaller outfits on the grid.

Although going down the legal route could be seen as bad for the Formula 1's image, Ecclestone says the teams are within their rights to challenge current regulations.

"We haven't discouraged or encouraged anybody to do anything," he told Autosport. "That's what the European Union is there for, for these sorts of things.

"They [the teams] must give it a go, and if they're successful it's good, and if not then it costs nothing."

However, the Briton pointed out that the teams knew up they were signing on for when they penned their contracts.

He added: "The bottom line is, what they [the teams] are saying is we're giving too much money to some people and not enough to the others.

"But all this was done whereby everybody knew what they would be getting and what would happen, and they all signed contracts which were very clear.

"They've had a change of heart I suppose, and I don't blame them, not at all. Somebody will have a look at it and either decide the agreements they've signed are valid and they stick by them, or they're not valid and they have to be changed. "From our point of view it won't make any difference at all."