The Concorde Agreement—the contract between Formula One and its teams, renewed seven times since the inaugural one in 1981—is expiring this year amid ... everything. But despite that—or maybe because of it—Ferrari and McLaren indicated this week they’re ready to re-sign. Smaller teams aren’t quite there yet, but it seems like everyone’s getting close.
The agreement outlines how much commercial revenue each team gets from streams like TV rights, in addition to the rules by which teams race. Historically, the document also gave Ferrari veto power over rules changes, and a bigger chunk of revenue than the other teams, but that sounds like it’s changing.
“As far as Ferrari [is concerned] we are ready to sign,” said Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. “We would like to sign I think even quite soon.
“I think that’s important for the future and for clarity. At least I think we can all know where we are. I think it is important also for the small teams somehow, because it’s part of the entire package.
“Looking ahead with clarity is important. So some are ready to sign. I think we are somehow happy, because we know that F1 has understood the importance of the role of Ferrari in F1. That for us was key and so we are satisfied from that.”
Ferrari will apparently keep its veto, but the money is said to be more evenly distributed in the new proposed agreement as Liberty Media, which bought F1 in 2016, seeks to make the racing more competitive and reign in costs. A $145 million cap on spending—there is none in 2020—is planned for next season, with major rule changes the year after that.
Those changes include new aerodynamics regulations, more standardized components, and bigger tires, from 13- to 18-inch wheels, intended to increase passing and generally make the racing more watchable. The other teams sound like they’ll eventually get on board, just not quite yet.
Racing Point principal Otmar Szafnauer, whose independent team are closely allied to world champions Mercedes, indicated there were still some details to be ironed out.
“I don’t think we’re that far off having something that we can all sign,” he told reporters. “There’s still a few talking points which I think will happen in the short term.
The negotiations started in January, but were upended by the coronavirus pandemic. The new agreement, should it be approved, is set to run until 2026.