A few months ago, Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said that the regulatory body (FIA) and the sport’s commercial rights group (F1 Group) had agreed to a deal. At first, fans thought this could be a new Concorde Agreement, which has been the formal tripartite agreement between the regulatory body, the teams and the F1 Group. As the story unfolded further, it was not the Concorde Agreement as the teams were not signatory to it.

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Christian Sylt has offered what could be a reason that there is no signed Concorde Agreement. According to Ecclestone, it isn’t needed:

“I think everyone has forgotten about it to be honest because with the agreement we currently have with this Strategy Group, we don’t really need it,” Ecclestone said.

The F1 Strategy group was formed was formed last year and consists of the teams, F1 Group and the FIA. Each group has rights over the direction of the sport from a regulatory to sporting to commercial aspect.

What appeared to be the signing of a new Concorde Agreement was, in reality, a bipartite agreement between the FI and F1 Group. The F1 Group also had agreements with each of the teams in their own bipartite agreements and with the introduction of the F1 strategy Group, apparently that is enough to keep Formula 1 running until 2020 according to Sylt’s article.

According to Ecclestone, the original Concorde Agreement was merely a peace treaty of sorts but he says things have progressed:

“It was a peace treaty when it was signed. We have moved on and the whole structure has moved on.”

Seems like something that would have been nice to know considering F1 fans have been wringing their hands over the future of F1 and with Ecclestone’s bribery case in Germany coming up, the future of F1 has been on the top of everyone’s mind.

The F1 Strategy group seems to be an intriguing concoction and it is not completely understood exactly how this group operates or what the exact procedures are. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how teams who are represented but overruled through a majority vote react when decisions are made that could be antithetical to their own livelihood. Without the unanimity the Concorde Agreement demanded, stress fractures would arise and toys could be thrown from the pram.

An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Alianora La Canta

    I wonder if the FIA realises this means there’s nothing binding the teams to the FIA, other than the annual race entries? It means that if the teams decided to drop out of F1*, the FIA has no hold on them provided they do it by failing to enter a given year. All they can do is pursue CVC and hope. (CVC would obviously have a claim against the team if it had done so contrary to its agreement with CVC. But if CVC decided it wanted the FIA out of its regulatory structures and thus formed a rival series…)

    * – Thankfully, the FIA had enough foresight to make adherence to FIA regulations a condition of entering the F1 championship. Once a team is in F1, Concorde has no particular effect on the team-FIA relationship for the season in question.

  • Rapierman

    I think this question has been forgotten: “Can I trust you?” I’m betting the answer would have been “No”.