Toto Wolff believes F1’s current Concorde Agreement, which is due to expire at the end of 2020, should be extended for another year.
The Concorde Agreement is the contract which binds together the FIA, Formula 1 and its competing teams to ensure fair competition and the even distribution of commercial revenue.
First drawn up in 1981, the Concorde Agreement has been renewed six times since then, most recently in 2013, and the eighth edition was due to be finalised this year only to be delayed by the global health pandemic.
Mercedes boss Wolff is in no hurry for the sport to be tied in to a new agreement and feels the existing arrangement should be carried through to the end of 2021, after which the new F1 technical regulations come into force.
“I am open to racing without an extension because in the auto world things change pretty quickly,” said Wolff, as quoted by Autoweek. “If we were not signed up for five years, that would give us flexibility.”
As a concept though, Wolff is fully behind the Concorde Agreement and added: “I believe the Concorde gives a certain safety to all stakeholders. It gives Formula 1 a safety net to have teams signed up.
“It gives certain stability to Formula 1 when pitching for TV or sponsorship partners because they know the teams will be participating and it gives a safety net to the shareholders of Formula 1 teams and to employees knowing we are in this for the next five years.
“If you have a rolling non-committal situation it could provide instability. People like to have some kind of visibility – ‘what am I buying into and what do I pay for?’ If there could be structural or seismic changes every year that would obviously not be great.”
However, other team principals appear keener than Wolff to get the next Concorde Agreement nailed down as quickly as possible.
At the Styrian Grand Prix press conference, Alfa Romeo’s Frederic Vasseur said: “I hope we will be able to finalise an agreement in the next few weeks.”
And Williams team boss Clare Williams added: “Clearly to get that signed (Concorde Agreement) would be beneficial for the sport as a whole but certainly for our team particularly, based on the situation Williams is in at the moment, so we are looking forward to picking it up and moving it forward and closing it out sooner rather than later.”