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Ecclestone set to bring prize money release forward

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is set to bring forward a scheduled release of $30 million in prize money to help troubled teams, according to media reports.

Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C34 and Carlos Sainz Jr, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C34
Sergio Perez (MEX), Sahara Force India
Bernie Ecclestone
Pastor Maldonado, Lotus F1 E23
Gerard Lopez, Lotus F1 Team Principal with Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)

Multiple teams are scrambling to find the money simply to line up on the Melbourne grid next week, as the sport's heads continue to fail to agree on a plan to reduce costs.

According to reports, Ecclestone has responded by vowing to bring forward the prize money owed to teams.

The Times newspaper said the fast-forwarded payments - to be wired to the troubled teams in the coming days - should ensure they are able to "board the transport planes due to leave for Melbourne next weekend".

"Bernie has promised support for the teams," Force India deputy Bob Fernley confirmed, "and if that support transpires, they will be able to do the first few races.

"We have made it clear to the commercial rights holder that we have problems, as have Lotus and Sauber. It is not isolated to one team.

"Bernie has been extremely understanding. He's a racer. I think he realises this is serious."

Ecclestone duly met late last week not only with Lopez but also representatives of the similarly-struggling Force India and Sauber teams.

"The months of November, December and January are the worst," said Lotus owner Gerard Lopez, "as during this phase of design and production you spend 43 per cent of your budget with nothing coming in from the outside."

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