The Formula 1 world is basically”on hold” at the moment with regard to any political decisions because of the recent legal activity in Germany, relating to the Gribkowsky Affair.
There has been little real progress on the Concorde Agreement, the F1 entries have been put in by the teams and rejected by the FIA, which is working on the basis that the final date for entries is now in September. This will give the teams the time to decide whether they want cost-cutting written into the rules or not. Some do, some definitely do not. But no-one seems to be making any decisions until it is clear what is going to happen with Bernie Ecclestone. His staff insisted up until Saturday night that he was going to be in Germany, but he did not show up and while he does miss quite a few races these days, this one appears to be rather more significant.
There have been stories for some time that suggest that Mercedes-Benz is not signing any new Concorde Agreement until they know what is going to happen to Ecclestone. It is hard to know if this is the truth because transparency in these sort of matters is non-existent. In theory nine teams have agreed terms, although it is not 100 percent clear whether they have actually signed, because the Concorde Agreement includes a lot of things that are not yet decided, notably the Sporting and Technical Regulations, which make up Schedules 7 and 8. They might have agreed in principal to Schedule 10 – the key financial section – but I wonder how many have actually put pen to paper. It may be that they have all signed side letters which include their own versions of the deal.
However, it is also fairly clear that the FIA has not yet signed up to anything. It is not going to be easy to run a series called the FIA Formula One World Championship, without the FIA being involved, because not only does the federation own the championship, but it also owns the rules and so one cannot simply start a new championship based on the current rules. There is also a question of licenses for drivers, staff, circuits and so on. It is not really possible for the championship to be run without the FIA. If it had been it would have happened years ago, during previous rounds of negotiation. I am quite sure that the FIA will in the end sign up if there is a financial incentive to do so. It does not seem to have any desire to try to run the F1 commercial empire as a side business and while it might take the rights away and give them to someone else (as happened recently with the World Rally Championship) that would be a major step and it is doubtful that the federation has the stomach for a big legal fight.