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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ecclestone says Ferrari get special treatment

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has hit back at criticism from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo by detailing how much more money the Italian team receive from the sport than their rivals.

"Ferrari get so much more money than everyone else," the 78-year-old billionaire told Saturday's edition of the Times.

"They know exactly what they get, they are not that stupid, although they are not that bright, either. They get about $80 million (53 million pounds) more," he added.

"When they win the constructors' championship, which they did this year, they got $80 million more than if McLaren had won it."

Ferrari are the sport's most glamorous and successful team, the only ones still in Formula One who were also present at the outset of the world championship in 1950.

It has never been a secret that the Maranello team receive a greater share of the sport's revenues in recognition of their special importance but a figure has not previously been revealed.

Ecclestone's remarks followed comments by Di Montezemolo in which the Italian said Formula One was not run in a normal, transparent manner, did not need a dictator and that teams should get a greater share of the revenues.

"The only thing he has not mentioned is the extra money Ferrari get above all the other teams and all the extra things Ferrari have had for years -- the "general help' they are considered to have had in Formula One," said Ecclestone.

Ecclestone added that Ferrari benefited from agreeing a new deal with him after breaking ranks with the other manufacturers in 2003 when they were threatening a breakaway series.

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