A lot of the F1 teams have given green light to sign the Concorde Agreement and yet again Mercedes’ Toto Wolff has some wise words for Ferrari chief.
There are few components of the operation of F1 more crucial than the Concorde Agreement – the contract between the FIA and the teams that specifies the terms under which they race, without which they wouldn’t be able to enter the championship.
And yet, in 2020 – the year preceding that of the Concorde Agreement renewal – getting this sorted has sat on the backburner as teams instead focused on how to return to racing, after the COVID-19 pandemic ground the world to a halt.
But now that the regulations have been delayed and further modifications have been made to the various rules, some F1 teams are ready to sign the agreement, and there seem to be very few hurdles in the way – according to many of those involved, at least.
Mattia Binotto – Ferrari:
“The Concorde Agreement and where we are today is the output of long discussions. As far as Ferrari is concerned, we are ready to sign. We’d like to sign it, I think even quite soon. That’s important for the future, for clarity, at least we can all know where are – I think that’s important as well for the small teams somehow because that’s part of the entire, let me say, package. So looking ahead with clarity is important so we are ready to sign.
“I think as well we are happy as we know F1 hasn’t disturbed the importance of the role of Ferrari within F1 and that for us was key and we are satisfied on that.” As Ferrari, we are happy and ready to sign. So I think the question should be asked to the ones which are not fully happy yet.”
Zak Brown – McLaren:
“The new Concorde Agreement complements the financial, technical and sporting regulations and secures a strong basis for the sustainability, growth and success of Formula 1 and all its stakeholders. Liberty Media, F1 and the FIA, together with the teams, have worked diligently to protect the sport through the COVID-19 crisis, our return to racing and into the long term. McLaren Racing is fully committed to Formula 1 and we are ready to sign this new agreement imminently.”
Otmar Szafnauer – Racing Point:
“Recently there hasn’t been much activity around Concorde, not a lot of work, but I anticipate that will change in the near future. As was previously said, this was a logical incrementalism to get to this point. I think a lot of work has gone into it and I don’t think we’re that far off to having something that we can all sign but there’s still a few talking points which I think will happen in the short terms.”
Frederik Vasseur – Alfa Romeo Racing:
“The discussions are ongoing. For sure, we stop a little bit the discussions during the COVID system and the new regulation answer, but now we are back to the topic and I hope we will have be able to finalise an agreement in the next few weeks.”
Guenther Steiner – Haas:
“The discussions have started again. We were involved in the beginning on the Concorde Agreement, obviously a lesser amount than the big teams as they have more things to sort out but otherwise FOM was trying to be as fair as possible with all 10 teams.”
Reacting to Romain Grosjean’s stance on Haas’ F1 future up in the air, Steiner further stated: “I think his answer was the wrong answer. Because he was asked what he is doing, and he spoke for the team. I think the elephant is in his room, not in our room.
“We know what we want to do, and if we are here or not, that will be just decided once we sign the new Concorde. Everything is on the way that this will happen. I’m still confident that we will be here. So I think the elephant needs to go out of the room, and into Romain’s room.”
Claire Williams – Williams:
“I think prior to Australia and corona taking over, I think that we had reached a fairly – certainly at Williams, anyway – a fairly good point with the Concorde negotiations but corona has obviously put a pause on those discussions, but I know that F1 are looking to put those up now sooner rather than later and clearly to get that signed would be beneficial for the sport as a whole but certainly for our team, particularly, based on the situation that Williams is in at the moment, so we’re looking forward to picking it up and moving it forward and closing it out sooner rather than later, as I said.”
Aside this, the most hard talk came from Mercedes’ Toto Wolff, who once again went on against Binotto – albeit not naming him directly – after the Italian indicated that some F1 teams are not ready to sign the new Concorde Agreement when they are.
“I don’t know why some of the other teams made those ridiculous commentary, that they’re ready to sign and that it seems to be some competitors that are not,” he said to media including Racefans.net, Motorsport Network, BBC, Reuters and more. “They make themselves a laughing stock with those comments in the public.
“Negotiations should be taking place behind closed doors, without running commentary from competitors. And in that respect, we’re talking to Liberty, we are keen in staying in F1. There are some clauses which bother us a little bit, but nothing that can’t be solved.”
On the manufacturer side, Honda’s Toyoharu Tanabe revealed that discussions are on but no decision yet. “I’m not involved in the contract scene very much but I just heard that the discussion is underway,” he said. “I haven’t heard any result yet. That’s the current status.”
Here’s Toto Wolff on rubbishing Mattia Binotto’s engine claims
Here’s what Mattia Binotto said regarding performance drop
Here’s F1 rivals wanting answers on Ferrari deal
Here’s Toto Wolff on being tired of Mattia Binotto’s talks
The story was edited by Darshan Chokhani
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