Mercedes rivals ‘up the arse’ of Liberty Media

Date published: August 8 2020

Toto Wolff Mercedes

Toto Wolff has insisted Mercedes are not yet ready to sign F1’s new Concorde Agreement by the August 12 deadline.

First drawn up in 1981, the Concorde Agreement has been renewed six times since then, most recently in 2013, and F1 is currently in discussion with all 10 teams about the eighth edition.

Liberty Media have been pushing for a more equitable distribution of revenue under the new terms in a bid to make the sport fairer and more sustainable as part of the talks.

A number of F1 teams have already confirmed they are ready to sign the terms for the new contract, including Ferrari and McLaren.

A deadline of August 12 has been set by F1 for teams to sign the new Concorde Agreement.

But Wolff said Mercedes are unwilling to put pen to paper on the terms currently being proposed and expressed his frustration with Mercedes’ treatment in the talks.

“Most of the teams, like 90 per cent of them are of the opinion that the Concorde Agreement needs cleaning up,” Wolff told to Sky Sports F1.

“That there are clauses that are critical and need to be discussed around governance and certain commercial aspects.

“But we’re not really able to engage, these guys [other teams] when they come on camera, they are up the arse of the commercial rights holder then when we have the meetings they are revved up and they are the loudest.

“I guess it’s about manning up and expressing your opinion. We love this sport, we have co-objectives that we share with Liberty and the FIA. We all want to stay in this sport and it’s just about discussing it.”

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Wolff was also asked about the Concorde Agreement in Friday’s FIA press conference at Silverstone, too, and believes the World Champions are the “biggest victim” of the contract which binds together the FIA, Formula 1 and its competing teams to ensure fair competition and the even distribution of commercial revenue.

He said: “We from Mercedes made very clear we are happy with a more equitable split of the prize fund.

“The way success is rewarded and possible for everybody, we agree 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. With Red Bull, it obviously balances out with AlphaTauri. So it’s us that are hurt the most.

“I feel Mercedes has contributed to the sport over the last years. We have, apart from being competitive on-track, the driver that has clearly the most global appeal (Lewis Hamilton).

“We feel that whilst 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.

“In our point of view, I don’t feel ready to sign a Concorde Agreement.”

 

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