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Driver contracts that were bought-out by other teams


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#1 Zippel

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 23:29

I can think of too recent examples of big F1 teams buying out the rest of a drivers contract so they can have them the next year:

McLaren buying out Raikkonen's Sauber deal for 2002-onwards (Quite expensive too, which help funded Sauber windtunnel)

Ferrari buying Irvine's Jordan contract for 1996 (Also helped fund some of Jordan's new facilities).

Are there other examples of this happening in racing history?

Edited by Zippel, 03 June 2012 - 23:30.


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#2 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 14:53

Jenson Button during the Honda/Williams yes-no-yes-no in 2004 and 2005. I think Jenson had to pay Williams but he had an increased payout on an already large Honda salary.

#3 JtP1

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 15:09

Ferrari buying Alesi's contract from Williams/ Eddie Jordan. Alledgedly giving Frank a F1 Ferrari and Eddie enough money to start his F1 team

#4 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 15:10

Didn't Ferrari also give Williams a car when they took Alesi for 1991?

Edited by Nigel Beresford, 04 June 2012 - 15:21.


#5 JtP1

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 17:05

Didn't Ferrari also give Williams a car when they took Alesi for 1991?


that's what's reported.

#6 D-Type

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 17:07

Did Lotus have to pay Shadow when de Angelis joined them? Or Toleman when they engaged Senna?

#7 Spaceframe

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 08:54

I can think of too recent examples of big F1 teams buying out the rest of a drivers contract so they can have them the next year:

McLaren buying out Raikkonen's Sauber deal for 2002-onwards (Quite expensive too, which help funded Sauber windtunnel)

Ferrari buying Irvine's Jordan contract for 1996 (Also helped fund some of Jordan's new facilities).

Are there other examples of this happening in racing history?

Niki Lauda signed a three year contract with BRM in 1973 - but he only drove for Louis Stanley's team for a single year as Maranello wanted him quite badly. Didn't do a lot of good for BRM, though...

#8 Giraffe

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 09:26

Frank Williams bought Derek Daly from Theodore when Reutemann suddenly retired.

#9 JamesRaynor

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 12:00

Ferrari buying Irvine's Jordan contract for 1996 (Also helped fund some of Jordan's new facilities).


Most of that money at Jordan got spent on wigs.


#10 Zippel

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 12:45

Most of that money at Jordan got spent on wigs.


The more you know... :lol:

#11 midgrid

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 13:04

An indirect buy-out: in 1991, Benetton wanted to replace Roberto Moreno with Michael Schumacher, who was himself under contract to Jordan (although, as it turned out, it was one definite article away from being legally binding). Moreno took out an injunction against Benetton, and after intense negotiations accepted a severance deal of £500,000, which he then paid to Jordan (plus an additional £100,000) for a seat in the team for the following two races, before in turn being replaced by Alex Zanardi.

#12 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 11:12

Hold on...

Moreno paid 600k for two races(how many was the 600 supposed to get him?) in 1991? At full-season rate that'd be almost 5million a year. In 1991. 5million a year would nearly get you a seat in 2012. Sure Jordan was a little more competitive than HRT or Marussia are now, but Jordan's total budget couldn't have been much more than that. I can't remember the figure off hand but what did Merc pay for them to run Schumacher?

#13 Twin Window

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 18:38

Ross, in 1991 EJ quoted me £1m for a test contract for Tommy in exchange for TB testing the car during the season (obviously) and a small sticker/decal on the inside of the rear end-plates. I kid you not!

He'd massively under-sold the title sponsorship to Pepsi/7-Up and so was clutching at any tantalising straw thereafter. His greed lost him $chumacher as he gave Mercedes a rate-hike for post-Spa GPs (originally circa £120k per race from memory), but wily Walkinshaw got wind and approached Mercedes with the approach "Excuse me, but you don't need to pay a team for M$ to race in F1; we'll pay him!" Job done.

#14 jeffbee

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:43

Ross, in 1991 EJ quoted me £1m for a test contract for Tommy in exchange for TB testing the car during the season (obviously) and a small sticker/decal on the inside of the rear end-plates. I kid you not!

He'd massively under-sold the title sponsorship to Pepsi/7-Up and so was clutching at any tantalising straw thereafter. His greed lost him $chumacher as he gave Mercedes a rate-hike for post-Spa GPs (originally circa £120k per race from memory), but wily Walkinshaw got wind and approached Mercedes with the approach "Excuse me, but you don't need to pay a team for M$ to race in F1; we'll pay him!" Job done.



I seem to remember the figure of £100k being bandied about at the time as the figure Mercedes paid to EJ for Schumacher's drive at Spa.

So, having given MS his chance in F1 what did Mercedes get out of it? He raced for Benetton with Ford and then Renault engines before making his way to Ferrari. I know he's driving for them now, but they don't seem to have got much out of their initial investment.

#15 midgrid

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 14:05

Schumacher's deal was for Mercedes to pay Eddie Jordan £150,000 a race in 1991. The proposed 1992 contract was for Mercedes to pay £3 million for the whole season, including sponsorship rights for the car and the ability to break the contract if the marque entered F1 itself. This is from EJ's autobiography.

#16 Twin Window

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 20:11

This is from EJ's autobiography.

And therefore can't be treated too seriously.

#17 mfd

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 20:52

EJ's autobiography.

Seriously - can you imagine him sitting down for long enough to write such a thing?