Liberty Media President and CEO Greg Maffei

Rumor: F1 Concorde Agreement to be renegotiated to allow new teams (Update)

–by Mark Cipolloni–

Not only does Liberty Media want a new Concorde Agreement negotiated now, even though the current one does not expire for another 2.5 years, so do the existing team owners.

The existing team owners have been pushing back against any new teams entering the sport because they feel the $200 anti-dilution fee a new entrant must pay is not enough to cover their losses in having to spit the prize money with two additional teams.

One solution is to raise the $200 million number, with some suggesting $600 million is a better number.

However, that raises the barrier to entry and the anti-competition police of the European Union will not look kindly on that, especially if they try to do it before the existing agreement expires.

The better solution is for Liberty Media to agree to a slightly higher percentage sharing of their F1 profits to make all the teams whole, despite an 11th and 12th team being added.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has taken F1’s lead and called for a new Concorde Agreement to be sorted “sooner rather than later”.

“I think everything’s working great,” said Brown. “If you look at the health of the sport, from a Liberty point of view, from the 10 racing teams’ point of view, the teams that want to come in, the promoters, the fans, the TV.

“So I’d like to see it get done sooner rather than later, just for the stability and longevity of the sport.

“I also think it’s a little bit of a rinse and repeat. It’s working. I don’t think there’s much to add or change to the existing agreement, so I don’t think it needs to be a prolonged conversation either.

“I’d pretty much be happy with a rinse and repeat, with a few tweaks here and there. There are things in the digital age that have advanced since we did the last agreement that I think need to be discussed.

“But for the most part, it’s a solid agreement. It’s working so we don’t really need to fix what’s not broken.”

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner and Alpine counterpart Otmar Szafnauer echoed Brown’s sentiments, believing a new deal now would benefit everyone involved.

“You know how long these Concorde Agreements normally take, so the earlier we start, the earlier we get to a conclusion,” said Steiner.

“So I’m not against this if FOM (Formula One Management) want to come and propose to us what they want to do for the next five years, which is actually the next seven years now. We, as a team, are pretty happy to talk with them.”

Szafnauer added: “If FOM is willing to start talking with the teams and start an outline of what a new Concorde Agreement could be, then starting early, I don’t see any downside with that.”

May 6, 2023 

–by Mark Cipolloni–

The Concorde Agreement covers the years 2021-25 and a little birdie tells us that Liberty Media is willing to change the team payout formula as part of a new deal so that adding an 11th and 12th F1 team will not dilute what the existing teams get.

“We have several years left to run on the Concorde Agreement,” said Maffei in a call with Wall Street analysts.

“But I think there’s a consensus among the teams and the FIA and ourselves that now might be a good time to try and strike while the iron is hot and renew and extend the Concorde Agreement.

“There’s certainly no obligation to do that. And there’s certainly no risk if that doesn’t get done.”

If true, this will end all objections to Andretti Global’s entry, but it will mean the team may not be on the F1 grid until 2026.


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