F1 boss admits several teams in financial strife
Ecclestone would not confirm which teams are struggling though Sauber is thought to be top of the list
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has admitted "two or three teams" are in financial strife as the top teams continue to block moves to implement cost-cutting measures.
In an interview with veteran Swiss journalist Roger Benoit, Ecclestone denied a claim at least half the teams were struggling financially to survive in F1.
"That's not quite right," said Ecclestone. "We are talking about two vulnerable teams at the moment," the 82-year-old told Blick newspaper.
"Perhaps there's a third with a question mark," he added.
Asked if he was confident those teams would be on the grid in 2014, the Briton replied: "If you had asked me a year ago, the answer would be no.
"But now, suddenly, most of the teams find money somehow from somewhere. I don't know how they do that," Ecclestone claimed.
While Ecclestone would not name the teams that are struggling, it is believed Sauber is top of the list with possibly Lotus not too far behind.
"We've known each other long enough that you know I have nothing to say!" Ecclestone told Benoit.
The suggestion that Ecclestone could intervene personally by providing loans to the embattled teams looks unlikely despite admitting in a recent interview to the New York Times that Sir Frank Williams often used to borrow money.
"I'm not allowed to do that anymore," said Ecclestone. "We have an agreement with the teams that it would be unfair to the others.
"They're the ones who wanted it (the agreement)!" he told Blick.
In the new Concorde Agreement - recently agreed signed by parties - the distribution of income given to the teams has been altered with the top teams gaining a greater proportion than their smaller rivals.
"It's because the big teams have promised that they are staying until 2020 -- they've given us a bank guarantee," Ecclestone revealed.
"The distribution was always the same -- the only difference these days is that we distribute a lot more money," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
Meanwhile Ecclestone finally spoke about his troubles outside of F1 with German prosecutors set to put the 82-year-old on trial on bribery charges, when asked Ecclestone replied by rejecting the main argument against him.
"First, I had no shares to sell, so I had no personal interest," said Ecclestone.
"My job was not in danger -- no matter who the shares were sold to, the FIA had to agree.
"But the FIA wanted to ensure that I still ran the business; because they're familiar with me and know how I work," he insisted.
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