Formula 1 has placed talks with teams over a new Concorde Agreement “on the back burner” as it contends with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
Prior to the pandemic causing the opening 10 races of the 2020 season to be called off, F1 chiefs had been nearing the end of talks over a new commercial agreement with all 10 teams, set to come into force for 2021.
F1 CEO and chairman Chase Carey told Autosport in February he was “comfortable” with where talks stood, and that the proposal on the table for teams was “better for everybody”.
But these talks have now been suspended as F1 turns attention to dealing with the impact of the current crisis.
“We had been in the final stages of completing the Concorde Agreement when the coronavirus crisis turned everything on its head,” Carey said in a call with investors on Thursday.
“We decided to put the Concorde on the back burner for the short-term, and prioritise addressing issues relating to 2020 first.
“As we move forward with the 2020 calendar and finalise regulatory changes with the teams, we will once again return to completing the Concorde Agreement in the future.”
Carey said that, while he was confident of finalising the agreement before next season, it would be possible for teams to race without formally signing up for it, removing the need to extend the existing commercial terms.
“The reality is once you get to 2021, we can unilaterally just say these are the rules of the road, this is the structure that exists, so we don’t have to extend anything,” Carey said.
“We can essentially implement and say if you’re racing, that’s the terms on which you’re racing. Obviously we’re looking to conclude it with the teams.
“The Concorde Agreement when we put it forth will be the Concorde Agreement that goes into effect in 2021, and we are able to unilaterally do that.”
F1 reported on Thursday it had suffered an 84% fall in revenue year-on-year through the first quarter of 2020 due to the loss of hosting fees from the scrapped races.
Carey nevertheless remained confident F1 could return to its upward trajectory once the crisis was over and deliver a 2021 season that met its original plans.
“We feel we are well positioned to return to the growth curve we were on a few months ago, and look forward to a better future for all of us,” Carey said.
“It is clear the 2020 results will be significantly below original expectations, but we believe it is equally clear that we can manage through 2020 with or without racing, and more importantly, that our business can quickly return to our prior expectations in 2021 and beyond.
“Our goal is to have 2021 look like the 2021 we planned back in January.
“We have renewals to put in place, and some ongoing discussions with a couple of potential new races that we think would be a positive enhancement to the business for fans and shareholders.”
Published at Sun, 10 May 2020 10:22:32 +0000