Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has expressed his displease with the way that his team has been treated by the Commerical Rights Holder over the course of the discussions on the new Concorde Agreement.
Formula One teams have busy with not just getting the sport up and running after the coronavirus-induced shutdown and with the introduction of the new cost cap and technical regulation overhaul, but also with defining the main pillars of the new Concorde Agreement.
The commercial contract between the Formula One Group, the Formula One teams and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile dictates the terms by which the teams compete in races and how the television revenues and prize money is divided. The first Concorde Agreement was signed in 1981, named after the plaza in Paris where the discussions took place.
The current agreement is the seventh version that was signed in July 2013 and runs to December 2020. The eighth Concorde Agreement will come into force in January 2021 and was expected be nearing completion, but the discussion were delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
While several teams including Ferrari and McLaren have already expressed their delight with the form and terms of the eighth Concorde Agreement, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has repeatedly said that his team was not fully ready to sign the new contract.
The Austrian indicated that Mercedes has added a lot to Formula One in recent years, and with Lewis Hamilton on board, the Brackley-based outfit has the most appealing driver on the current grid.
“I feel that Mercedes has contributed to the sport over the last years. Apart from being competitive on track, we have the driver that has clearly the most global appeal and we feel that, while being in those negotiations, we weren't treated in the way we should have been. Therefore, there is 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.”
The Vienna-born said that Mercedes are the biggest victim of the current agreement and he fears that it continues to suffer if the new agreement will not be changed sufficiently.
“We in 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 obviously it balances out with Toro Rosso [AlphaTauri], so it's us that are hurt the most.
“We are in a position to do so... We've got some minor legal issues to resolve, but we would be ready to be sign it to meet the deadline... which I think is fantastic for the sport. We can move forward, we've got some great new regulations coming online for 2021, which is certainly going to level the playing field and give this sport a much brighter future, which we're really excited about,” Wolff concluded.