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Brawn: Mid-grid fees will be similar to 2012

Team principal Ross Brawn believes that there will be little change in entry fees for teams running in the middle of the F1 grid.
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn believes that the reported hike in entry fees will only affect those operations right at the top of the F1 world championship and, while he would love his squad to be among them, reckons that little will change for those in the midfield.

The FIA used the opening day of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to announced the dramatic rise in fees, with a new system being introduced ahead of the 2013 campaign that will base the amounts to be paid on past championship performance. Previously, teams paid a standard entry fee each year, with the figure of around $398,000 for the 2012 season expected to net a total of almost $4.8m for the governing body.

Under the revised fees however, teams will pay a flat fee of $500,000, with additional payments beyond that dependent on championship positions this season. The winning team in the constructors' championship will be forced to pay an additional $6000 for each point scored this season, while remaining teams will pay an additional $5000 for every point. Under that scheme, Red Bull Racing - which is expected to claim both titles following a late-season resurgence - already faces the prospect of paying more than $2.9m, with three races still to run, while tailenders Marussia, Caterham and HRT - which have yet to register a top ten finish - would pay the basic entry of $500,000. Winning the constructors' title is thought to be worth around $70m.

For Mercedes, whose high hopes following victory in China have tailed off in a series of lacklustre performances, the prospect of finishing in fifth place overall does not appear to concern Brawn - on the financial front at least. The Brackley-based squad, which is due to add Lewis Hamilton alongside Nico Rosberg in 2013, is reckoned to be facing an fee of at least $1.180m based on the 136 points so far accrued

"I think, for us, we would be delighted to pay it because we would be scoring a lot of points," Brawn told journalists at Yas Marina, "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.

"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."

FIA president Jean Todt has been campaigning for a greater share of F1 revenues to help fund other initiatives that fall under the governing body's broad umbrella, telling the Financial Times newspaper that 'we need to encourage development of the sport, we need to encourage development of action for road safety, [but] we cannot be a federation without having any revenue'.

And it's not just the teams that are set to contribute a bigger share to the funds, with Bernie Ecclestone's annual payment set to increase nearly three-fold, to around $20m.

The latest FIA Sporting Regulations state that the basic entry fee needs to be paid at the time of committing to the championship, with the rest stumped up by the end of November. As it stands, none of the twelve existing teams have lodged an entry for 2013.



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