Cap cut, gearbox freeze & a one-year deal

Date published: March 31 2020

Cap cut, gearbox freeze & a one-year deal

Liberty Media had hoped to have the first signature on a new Concorde Agreement in April but that is now on hold with F1’s owners considering a one-year option.

This year marks the final season of the current Concorde Agreement, the deal that governs Formula 1.

Liberty Media has been in negotiations with the teams for several months and had expected to secure the first signature in the coming weeks.

That is now on hold as the coronavirus pandemic wrecks havoc around the globe, including on the sporting world.

Losing money as one by one races are cancelled or postponed, the Formula 1 teams are said to have switched to survival mode.

“Before any team signs up for five years, we all need to know if we can survive this crisis,” a team boss told Auto Motor und Sport.

“There is currently no talk of this topic. There are more important things to do now.”

One of those important things is finding ways to save money.

The Formula 1 teams have already agreed to running this year’s chassis next season while also deferring the 2021 rules to 2022.

However, Liberty Media are reportedly hoping to also use the crisis to push through a dramatically reduced budget cap.

AMS reports that FIA president Jean Todt and F1 chief Chase Carey believe this is a ‘golden opportunity’ to slash the budget cap from $175 million to just 100 million.

The bigger teams are not impressed, and are also balking at the idea of freezing additional components aside from just the chassis for 2021.

Liberty Media, the FIA and the smaller teams are reportedly keen on the homologation of the gearbox for next year which Ferrari and Red Bull are opposing.

AMS claims that Mercedes’ main rivals have recently learned that the Brackley squad connects the engine and gearbox with only ‘four bolts’ whereas they use six.

As such they are wanting the freedom to redesign their gearboxes for 2021.

With 2021’s regulations set to be a continuation, barring the possibility of a few developments, of 2020’s, Auto Motor und Sport says it is ‘quite possible that Liberty may offer the teams a one-year contract extension’ of this year’s Concorde Agreement in order to cross all these ‘bureaucratic hurdles’.

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