The F1 Concorde Agreement is still not clear with Mercedes not ready yet as Toto Wolff talks about what is stopping them.
Already last week Mercedes had reservations on signing the F1 Concorde Agreement as Wolff had lashed out at his rivals, especially Ferrari and McLaren, who were open to state that they are ready to sign while there are teams who aren’t.
Wolff did not take it well and it continued this weekend at Silverstone, where he opened up to his feelings that Mercedes is not getting the due it should be given. It is the second controversy to hit the F1 field after the FIA decision on Racing Point.
Mercedes is siding mostly with Racing Point whereas the against party so far has Renault, McLaren and Renault. On the Concorde Agreement side, the German manufacturer seems like is alone as its customer F1 teams are mostly ready to sign.
Here’s whole of what Mercedes has said –
Wolff: “The F1 Concorde Agreement is more complex. It obviously involved 10 teams, the FIA and FOM and we respect that everybody has their point of view and the only interest at heart… We from Mercedes made it very clear that we are happy with a more equitable split of the prize fund, the way success is rewarded and possible for everybody we agreed to. We are I would say the biggest victim in terms of prize fund loss in all of that.
“Ferrari has maintained an advantageous position. For Red Bull it balances out with AlphaTauri. So it’s us that are hurt the most. I feel that Mercedes has contributed to the sport over the last years. We have part from being competitive on track, we have the driver that has clearly the most global appeal and we feel that whilst being in those negotiations we weren’t treated in the way we should have been.
“Therefore there are a bunch of open topics for us that are legal, commercial and sporting and in our point of view I don’t feel ready to sign a Concorde Agreement. For how long we can wait, that depends on the other side. If you are willing to sit at a table, address the critical topics, discuss them, come to a compromise outcome, then I think it can go pretty fast. But I haven’t seen that approach.”
Wolff to Sky Sports F1: “I think most of the teams, if not 90%, are of the opinion that it needs cleaning up, that there are clauses that are critical that need to be discussed around governance and certain commercial aspects. But we are not really able to engage. Some of these guys, when they come on camera, they are up the arse of the commercial rights holder.
“Then when we have them in the meeting, they are revved up and they are the loudest. I guess it’s about manning up and expressing your opinion. We love this sport, we have core objectives that we share with Liberty and with the FIA. We all want to stay in this for the best of the sport, and it’s all about to discuss it.”
At the same time, F1 teams like Renault, Alfa Romeo Racing, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams for now see no issues in signing –
Cyril Abiteboul: “Probably 95% of the terms are agreed but as Fred has mentioned there are a number of details for which we probably need to take a little bit of time, give the time to our lawyers, the lawyers representing the 10 teams, to come up with a solution. I think it’s a balancing exercise between, indeed, not compromising on certain aspects that are important, working on those details.
“But also providing a bit of visibility and stability to a sport in a world that is shaking, that is facing a number of unknowns – that are obviously not connected to the Concorde – but I think that stability and a commitment from teams in order to market the sport for next year and the year after that as again the world is changing is also important and that also needs to be recognised in my opinion. But we are all still pushing for a collaborative process that involves all 10 teams rather than teams signing individually.”
Frederic Vasseur: “I really appreciate the efforts made by all the parties, including the big teams, because the impact is huge for them. We have to understand also that this agreement will manage the sport for the next five or six years and that we have to pay attention to every single event, even if it’s details, but it’s details for the next five years. I would like to go through and take time to fix it and there are some points that we have to clarify. But it’s not a big matter and I think we did the biggest step in the last couple of months and we will find a solution quickly.”
Mattia Binotto: “I think we already mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. I think as Scuderia Ferrari we are ready to sign. I think the deadline of the 12th of August is coming pretty soon. There is still very little (elements of) wording that need to be addressed – it’s only a legal matter – but on all the principles, we are somehow happy.
“It’s a long time that we discussing with FOM so it’s not here on the last day that now we are putting a long discussion we’ve had so I think we have a great understanding with Chase. I think that the proposal is certainly helping the small teams, which is important. As Ferrari, I think our role has been recognised which for us is quite important and overall, as I said, we are ready to sign so it’s clearly waiting for it and quite excited.
“On the other side, I don’t know what will be Mercedes position; that’s up to them to decide. I hope they will sign, I think it will be great to have Mercedes with us next year and the followings. I think we are the only ones who have been there since the very start of F1, 70 years, so it’s true as well that some things sometimes are there and cannot be there, so at the end, I think Ferrari will be there, they have always been part of the history. We’ll be there in the future, we are fully committed and we will certainly sign.”
Zak Brown: “McLaren’s in the same position. We’ve all been negotiating this for some time. We’re ready to sign. We’ll be able to hit the August 12 deadline. Some very small dotting the i’s, crossing the T’s but all the fundamentals are there and I’m really excited for the future of F1. I think the new Concorde Agreement – I’m not even sure we’re calling it the Concorde – but to do that by deed pole, is going to bring a much healthier sport, more competitive sport and the biggest winners are going to be the fans and if we have a lot of happy fans around the world then that means a lot of happy promoters and happy sponsors and very healthy competitive racing teams.
“[As for without Mercedes if the situation], we’re ready to sign the Concorde. I believe that all ten teams that compete in F1 today will be on the grid in ’21 so I’m not too worried about it, but McLaren’s committed to Formula 1 and I’m sure everyone else will come along whether they all sign at the same time or it’s staggered. I’m confident you’ll see all these ten teams on the grid next year.”
Claire Williams: “You’ve got the three most historic teams in F1 ready to sign the Concorde Agreement. Williams are in a position to do so. We’ve got some minor legal issues to resolve but we would be ready to sign it to meet the deadline. I think it’s fantastic for the sport, we can move forwards.
“We’ve got some great new regulations coming online for 2021 which is certainly going to level the playing field and make this sport… or give it a much brighter future which we’re really excited about. [As for signing without Mercedes], again, Williams are ready to sign the Concorde Agreement and that’s our decision and we will be ready to do so next week.”
Christian Horner to media including Racefans.net, Motorsport Network, BBC and more: “This is at least the third time I’ve been through this process on it now. It’s been a different experience this time to previously. I think the agreement is what it is. The contents of it is confidential between the teams and the promoter.
“You have to look at the bigger picture and look at it as a partnership, in many respects, that we need Liberty to bring as much revenue into the sport and interest and coverage, that ultimately the teams and all participants will benefit from.
“You have to take a bit of a holistic view on these things, you’re never going to get everything you want. I’m sure it will be concluded in the coming days. I think it’s only a matter of days away. I would envisage that all teams would be signing at some point.”
A statement from F1 was quick on Friday on the same: “F1 has engaged with all teams in a collaborative and constructive way and listened to all their views. This agreement is important for the future of the sport and all our fans. We are moving forward with this and will not be delayed any longer.”
Here’s the whole Racing Point drama
Here’s last on F1 Concorde Agreement
Here’s F1 rivals wanting answers on Ferrari deal