Team bosses admit “time is tight” on Concorde Agreement

The current Concorde Agreement, the agreement that holds the sport together, legally binding the teams to Formula One, runs out at the end of 2020.

While there has been much rhetoric, there is still no clear sign of the concerned bodies – the teams, the FIA and the Formula One Group – reaching agreement.

Indeed, in a recent article we compared the situation to Brexit.

Funny, enough, it would appear the team bosses agree.

“It’s a bit like Brexit,” says Christian Horner of the situation. “We’ve got to find a deal, we’ve got to find a solution.

“There’s 24 months,” he adds. There’s a hard stop, which is at the end of 2020 and there’s only the simple factors of money, regulations and commercial plans for the future to sort out… So what could possibly hold that up!”

“I think we’re running out of time,” agrees Otmar Szafnauer, “the later we leave it, the higher the cost to react to whatever changes or differences there are going to be.

“Hopefully by the end of this year we’ll have some clarity on regulations, governance and financial distribution,” he adds in what can only be viewed as admirable optimism or extreme naivety.”

“It’s fair to say that it’s tight,” says Cyril Abiteboul. “That’s why it’s important that we stay steady and try to be supportive of what FOM’s new management is trying to achieve – because we need visibility.

“When you talk to sponsors, new sponsors not in Formula One, they want to have visibility,” he continues. “They need to have at least three years visibility and we can’t offer three years any more. Because it’s only two years that’s left on the current Concorde – so clearly we are really pushing but also helping stakeholders to try to come up with a clear plan, if or what, on each of those aspects which are important aspects.”

“The time, it’s quite tight, so we need to move quickly,” admits Maurizio Arrivabene, “but in the meantime we need to avoid any move that could damage our company.

“I’m talking about Ferrari as I think my colleagues, they are talking about the company that they are representing,” he adds.

“So, the time is quite tight, but we don’t have any hurry to move forward and maybe to create a mess.

“Talking about something that is in front of us now,” he continues. “We have regulation for next year, they were supposed to give more possibility to the overtaking, at the moment the first feedback that I got from our driver is that most probably that objective is not achieved.

“The result is that we are spending a huge amount of money next year to change our car, then we need also to sit together and to understand how could be the situation for the engine cost for 2021 and maybe thinking about that – because we are continuously talking about cost cap but at the moment, I’m going to see the costs, that they are increasing instead of decreasing.

“So, we need to stop a bit and, instead of rushing, we need to think on what we are doing now, because what we are doing now, it could potentially influence future decisions.”

“Maurizio said it all. I would share his opinion,” adds Toto Wolff, nine little words that encapsulate the problem going forwards.