Formula One's top teams could lose tens of millions of dollars in payments after Bernie Ecclestone revealed he plans to scrap the sport's current bonus scheme.

Teams such as Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes have historically been paid more than others in the paddock in a system intended to keep them locked into the series.

But the payments have led to claims from smaller teams they are disadvantaged as the likes of Red Bull have seen their payments boosted after winning four consecutive titles between 2010 and 2013.

Ferrari have received special bonus payments as the only team to remain in F1 since the world championship began in 1950.


The first opportunity to change the payments will come in 2020 when the current commercial deal between the teams and the sport's rights holders comes to an end.

Formula One Management chief executive Ecclestone revealed he had warned head of Mercedes Motorsport Toto Wolff that change could be on the way.

'I told Toto not to think about banking any money yet,' Ecclestone told The Times.

'I am going to have a good look at how things work to see if I can come up with something more equal for all the teams.'

Ecclestone is considering a system like that in football's Premier League where all 20 teams receive an equal share of revenue from TV coverage as well as prize money.

Ecclestone added: 'The Premier League has a good way of distributing the prize money, so maybe that could work for us.

'There will be people who will like it and people who won't like it, and people who will suffer.'

In figures published by Autosport magazine in April, Ferrari is set to receive £143million this year and Manor £35m.