Formula 1’s stalemate over a new Concorde Agreement appears to be at an end after Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt reached agreement over its terms on Saturday.
After months of stalled discussions, the FIA and Formula One Group issued a statement saying that the two parties had approved a plan to implement the new Concorde. Their deal sets out the framework for the new deal to be drawn up, with the process set to be completed in the next few weeks.
A press release issued on Saturday said: “The Formula 1 Group and the FIA have signed an agreement setting out the framework for implementation of the 2013 Concorde Agreement. This agreement will come into force upon approval by the respective governing bodies of the signatory parties in the coming weeks. Further information on this agreement will be available after receipt of such approval.”
Ecclestone already has bilateral agreements in place with 10 of F1’s teams, laying out the new commercial terms they will be operating under, as well as putting in place a new rule-making process. This will include the creation of an F1 Strategy Group to help consider new ideas and changes to the regulations.
The only team that does not have a commercial deal in place is Marussia. For the Concorde to be complete, it will need the teams, Ecclestone and the FIA to commit to the deal, a process that should now be a formality over forthcoming weeks.
FIA AND FOM AGREEMENT WAS STICKING POINT
Although Ecclestone was able to secure teams’ agreement to a Concorde with relative ease, it was much harder for him and Todt to settle their differences.
Todt has been eager to secure a greater financial contribution for the governing body from F1’s profits. While some of that revenue has come from the teams, through increased entry fees and superlicense costs, there is also understood to be a contribution from the commercial rights holder, too.
One of the final sticking points in the talks was the control of the media in F1, with Ecclestone eager for written press and journalists to fall under FOM’s control, just as it controls television rights. This could have led to all media being charged for access to cover F1, something that Todt is understood to have been against.
The imminent signing of the Concorde comes against the backdrop of Ecclestone being indicted by German prosecutors over allegations of bribery, and Todt facing a potential challenger in the forthcoming FIA presidential elections later this year.