F1 bosses share their opinion on if the next Concorde Agreement signing up should already happen with the popularity boom.
The Concorde Agreement currently in place will run out and expire and run out at the end of the 2025 F1 season. Of course, it’s early days as we are barely a quarter of the way through the 2023 campaign, but no harm in thinking ahead in any walk of life so much so that current Liberty CEO Greg Maffei even plugged the motion of undertaking a new agreement now which is two and a half seasons ahead of the current end of deal.
Given the popularity of F1 and the booming scenario where they have multiple races in America, while more countries are eyeing a spot along with more teams looking to be on the grid, it sounds like a bold move but maybe it is not the worst of times to at least start discussing as the bosses note that it does take a long time to sort out.
One of the pressing demands is increase in entry fees for new F1 teams. The current Concorde Agreement limits to 200 million dollars, but the push is to get it increased to anywhere around 600 million dollars. It may not happen for this cycle of new entrants, but in future, it may rise up as the popularity increases.
Here’s what some of the F1 team bosses think –
Toto Wolff: “I think most important is to have these conversations behind closed doors. I think if we have a long period of alignment and a contract, such as Concorde, the longer it goes, the better it is, I think, for all of our businesses, but we are in a very early stage. We haven’t really started talking properly. That’s going to happen soon. But it should happen in a constructive way, not maybe live broadcasted and creating controversy.”
Christian Horner: “Look, Formula 1 is in fantastic health at the moment, you can see F1 is flying, you only have to look at the state of Tom’s suit to see the health of F1 currently. Look, F1 has never been in a stronger position. I think Liberty have done a great job with a sport. We’re seeing new markets, new growth, new fans, and a new demographic of fans. And, you know, there’s always going to be that debate between the teams and the Commercial Rights Holder of who should have the more value, and I look forward to the jousting that will no doubt take place, as Toto says, behind doors. But I think longevity is in the best interest of everybody, to have a settled sport that has a clear direction for the future, of what its goals and objectives are, together with the Technical Regulations and Sporting Regulations and Financial Regulations that we want to develop for the future, to just continue to make the sport better and more appealing and more inclusive, over the coming years.”
Guenther Steiner: “I think if you start now, you know how long these Concorde agreements normally take, we all know that, so the earlier we start, the earlier we get to a conclusion. So I’m not against this if FOM wants to come and propose to us what they want to do for the next five years, which is actually the next seven years now. I think we, as a team, are pretty happy to talk with them.”
Zak Brown: “I think everything’s working great. If you look at the health of the sport, from a Liberty point of view, from the 10 racing teams’ point of view, the teams that want to come in, the promoters, the fans, the TV, so I’d like to see it get done sooner rather than later, just for the stability and longevity of the sport. I also think it’s a little bit of a rinse and repeat. I think it’s working. I don’t think there’s much to add or change to the existing agreement, so I don’t think it needs to be a prolonged conversation either. I’d pretty much be happy with a rinse and repeat with a few tweaks here and there. There’s things in the digital age that have advanced since we did the last agreement that I think need to be discussed. But I think for the most part, it’s a solid agreement. It’s working so we don’t really need to fix what’s not broken.”
Otmar Szafnauer: “Yeah, I think starting early and talking early is… there’s no downside to it. So if FOM are willing to start talking with the teams and start an outline of what a new Concorde Agreement could be, yeah, starting early, I don’t see any downside with that.”
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