Concorde has landed

August 4, 2009

Place de la Concorde, Paris

Place de la Concorde, Paris

A press release from the FIA has confirmed that the 2009 Concorde Agreement has now been signed. So named because of the location of the FIA offices in Paris at the Place de la Concorde, this agreement is the basis for how the three core constituent groups – the FIA; the commercial rights holder, FOG; and the teams (note the absence of the race organisers) – operate F1 and also divide up the financial spoils.

The new agreement will run until 31st December 2012 and presumably includes all twelve teams now remaining for the 2010 season: The remaining seven FOTA teams (Ferrari, McLaren, Toyota, Brawn GP, Red Bull Racing, Renault, Toro Rosso); FOTA suspendees Williams and Force India and the three new teams (USF1, Campos and Manor). A question mark remains over the future of the BMW team beyond 2009, when the manufacturer will withdraw. There are rumours of a rescue package being developed. FOTA have stated their support for the team, in the same way that they supported the Brawn team which arose from the ashes of Honda. There will presumably need to be agreement from all the teams should BMW become Sauber or something else for 2010 onwards.

So what does this mean? Well the good news is that Renault, Toyota and Mercedes Benz have committed themselves to F1, on paper at least, until 2012. This puts pressure on these teams to both reduce costs (this is part of the new agreement), but also to be in a strong position by 2011 or whenever the next Concorde is signed, thereby making it harder for their paymasters to pull the plug. The bad news is that given the relatively short period of the agreement, it won’t be long before the haggling starts up again.

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