Formula One future muddled by prospect of Concorde talks delay

Christian Sylt
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THE BOSS of the company which controls Formula One has revealed that his investors are unhappy with the length of the commercial contracts with the sport’s 11 teams which expire at the end of 2020.

It could signal an extension to the long-running negotiations with teams over the Concorde Agreement, the contract which commits them to race and confirms their commercial terms as well as F1’s regulations.

“Even now, after the latest contracts, which have been signed up to 2020, the first thing any new shareholder says to me: it’s not enough. Can’t we make it a longer period? We don’t want the uncertainty,” said Donald Mackenzie, co-chairman of CVC, the private equity firm which is the largest shareholder in F1.

The Concorde expired at the end of last year and was replaced by separate commercial agreements with each team. These are the ones which run until the end of 2020 and although they bind the teams to F1 they do not give the sport stability as, unlike the Concorde, they do not confirm the regulations.

F1’s regulations are determined by governing body the FIA, which is a signatory to the Concorde. In September the FIA announced that “the framework for implementation of the Concorde Agreement for the period 2013-2020, has now come into force.” However, although this has been agreed by the FIA, the teams have yet to sign the contract and an increase in its duration would almost certainly extend the negotiations with them.

Mackenzie’s comments came in evidence given to London’s High Court last month in a trial over CVC’s purchase of F1 in 2006.