Concorde Agreement: Are Andretti accelerating talks?

Giuliano Duchessa, Jaden Diaz
25 May, 2024

It’s no mystery that Formula 1 has been discussing its future for months. The Concorde agreement regulates the commercial agreements between teams, F1, and the FIA – establishing the distribution of financial revenues. Normally, the framework agreement defines regulations through a shared document, aspects of which remain mostly confidential.

The seventh Concorde agreement, signed in 2020 during the pandemic, is currently still in force. On that occasion, the budget cap was quickly established, which was supposed to limit the risk of failure of small teams.

Liberty Media, then led by Chase Carey, showed great resilience to keep Formula 1 financially afloat. Carey managed to turn a very delicate moment into a huge opportunity.

Over the decades, we have seen most manufacturers come and go. Formula 1 has traditionally been a financial black hole, as Toyota and BMW teach.

Audi has chosen to enter by completing the acquisition of knowledge, facilities and engineering personnel through the historic Sauber. The German giant has already launched a gradual and massive commitment towards 2026. They recently signed the German driver Hulkenberg – and are still hopeful of signing Carlos Sainz alongside him.

Red Bull preferred to tie up with Ford to remain master of its destiny and not cede decision-making power.

CONTINUED TALKS OVER THE CONCORDE AGREEMENT OVERSHADOWED BY ANDRETTI AND F1 CONTROVERSY

Mario Andretti told NBC in Miami that his attempted entry into F1 seems to have descended into a personal feud with Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media. Liberty and FOM have not commented on the episode, but we are certainly far from any signs of improved relations.

On the other hand, we are faced with a contrast between Andretti and Liberty Media that is difficult to digest

What is clear is that none of the actors wants to reduce their slice of the pie. However, the teams also know that Andretti brings his own commercial value under the right conditions. 

So, it is not a question of being against the entry of another team regardless but rather establishing the new entry fee.

The future entry fee is understood to be around 600/700 million dollars.

Andretti-Cadillac surprised everyone by revealing that Pat Symonds will join the Silverstone-based American team in 2025. This move changes the pressure on the circus again since, in a possible potential legal action. It will be even more difficult to prove that Andretti’s 2026 entry, developed by someone who worked on the regulations, will be inadequate.

Andretti’s was an extremely bold move, probably prepared for some time both on a political and tactical level. Could it lead the negotiating table to conclude the new Pact more quickly or to delay it further? Pat Symonds was certainly the most authoritative technical figure within the FOM after Ross Brawn, it could only be the first of some planned moves that perhaps could have taken everyone by surprise, even the F1 leaders.

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