The FIA and the Formula One group have announced that they have agreed a bilateral deal setting out the framework for implementation of the Concorde Agreement for the period 2013 – 2020. This has now been signed off by both parties after a meeting of the FIA World Council in Dubrovnik.
“This agreement provides the FIA with significantly improved financial means to pursue its regulatory missions and to reflect the enhanced role undertaken by the FIA in motor sport,” the federation says on its website. “The parties have agreed a strong and stable sporting governance framework which includes the Formula One Group, the FIA and the participating teams. The agreement lays down solid foundations for the further development of the FIA Formula One World Championship.
“We can be proud of this agreement, which establishes a more effective framework for the governance of the FIA Formula One World Championship,” said Jean Todt. “The FIA looks forward to continuing to fulfill its historic role as the guarantor of both regulation and safety in F1 for many years to come.”
What the FIA has not yet announced is that the World Council has voted for a new commission to decide how the money coming from the deal will be spent. This is expected to be revealed in a statement later today.
The F1 teams have not agreed to a Concorde Agreement per se, but each has a bilateral agreement about money with the Formula One group. The one fly in the ointment at the moment is the Marussia F1 Team, which is competing in F1 but is not included in the commercial deals, despite being accepted as an entrant. In the past the team has benefited from what are known as Column 3 payments, which amount to around $10 million a year, plus travel and freight benefits.
This has not the case this year despite the fact that the team has undertaken to follow the Concorde Agreement that was in place when the entry was made. There are, obviously, questions about whether the current situation is fair because the team is competing with a significant disadvantage and there have even been suggestions that there might be grounds for a complaint to the European Commission on the basis of anti-competitive activity. It serves no real purpose for the sport to get tangled up in European bureaucracy once again but if the signatories to the Concorde Agreement do not alter the terms of the deal, they would seem to be leaving themselves open to complaints. The team is struggling on but is in a position where it really has nothing to lose in the long-term with a complaint.