Brazilian Grand Prix Business Diary – 4 things to think about now

The Brazilian Grand Prix had it all - but even two major new sponsorship deals and a battle for 12th place worth millions between Caterham and Marussia couldn't quite detract from Sebastian Vettel's dramatic run to a third successive world championship.

Red Bull Racing ended the season as constructors' champions for the third successive year but the team's superb haul of 460 points over the 20 races means it will be required to pay US$3.26 million simply to enter the 2013 championship.

The hike in fees is part of a new sporting regulation designed to generate more income for world motorsport's governing body, the FIA. As constructors' champions Red Bull must pay the base fee of US$500,000, plus US$6,000 per point scored.

Every other team must pay US$500,000 plus US$5,000, according to widespread reports.

If the reported fees are accurate, a glance at the final constructors’ championship standings for 2012 means Ferrari will pay US$2.5 million (400 points), McLaren US$2.39 million (378), Lotus US$2.015 million (303), Mercedes US$1.21 million (142), Sauber US$1.13 million (126), Force India US$1.015 million (109), Williams US$880,000 (76) and Toro Rosso US$630,000 (26).

Caterham and Marussia will pay just the base US$500,000.

Farewell HRT?
November 30th is the date by which the revised entry fees must be paid by teams. All eyes will be on HRT, the Spanish team which, like Caterham and Marussia, failed to score a point in its third season in the sport. Following the announcement by its investment firm owners, Thesan Capital, earlier this month that the team was up for sale, it has become clear that there is, in all liklehood, no buyer.

Reports suggest no staff remain at the team's Madrid headquarters and that the race team, which was reportedly running short of spare parts in Brazil, will shortly be made redundant. Short of a miracle, the team's fade-out from Formula One will likely be confirmed when the November 30th deadline passes.
Pic-ing your moment
Caterham and Marussia may have endured point-less seasons once again, but their battle for 10th place in the constructors' championship went to the final laps of the final race.

The difference between finishing 10th and 11th is many millions of dollars – perhaps as much as US$30 million – in prize money and travel allowances. It all came down to an on-track battle for 12th place in the final Grand Prix between Vitaly Petrov for Caterham and Charles Pic for Marussia, Petrov nipping past Pic with a handful of laps left as the pair slowed to allow Fernando Alonso through to lap them. 

It left Marussia crestfallen, a relieved Caterham significantly richer and young Frenchman Pic in rather an awkward position: on Friday it was announced he will be leaving Marussia to join….Caterham.
To Infiniti – and beyond
Thursday's announcement that Coca-Cola's energy drinks brand Burn will be joining the Lotus team as a partner from next season created a lot of noise but the most significant sponsorship announcement of the weekend came just hours before the race on Sunday.

Infiniti, Nissan's luxury brand, has been a partner of Red Bull Racing since 2011 but will step up to become title sponsor of the team from next season.

Events on the track quickly overtook the announcement, of course, but Infiniti's Formula One global director Andreas Stihl perhaps had an extra-wide smile as he celebrated Sebastian Vettel's world championship with the team on the podium after the race. Vettel, Infiniti's first global ambassador, will defend his title next year in a team officially known as an Infiniti Red Bull Racing.


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