Bosses reach agreement on Formula 1 commercial deal

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt
Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt

Formula 1 has concluded a new agreement binding the teams, governing body and commercial arm together for the next seven years.

Governing body the FIA said on Saturday it had signed an agreement with the F1 Group "setting out the framework for implementation" of a new deal.

The so-called Concorde Agreement is set to be signed "in the coming weeks".

Although the statement did not say the terms between the FIA and F1 Group were agreed, sources say that is the case.

The Concorde Agreement, which is confidential, sets out the commercial terms of a sport that has approximately $1.5bn (£1bn) of annual revenues.

F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone had already agreed commercial terms with 10 of the 11 teams. He has made no attempt to do with Marussia, who finished last in the championship last season.

Agreement with the FIA president Jean Todt took longer to reach, but the Frenchman and Ecclestone are understood now to have reached an agreement.

"There have obviously been lots of things we've had to sort out," Ecclestone said.

"It's a longer term thing, and this forms most of the Concorde Agreement for the teams as well, so we can get the whole lot put to bed now."

Ecclestone said the new agreement gave the teams more involvement in the rule-making process. Their commercial terms have also improved.

"It's for seven years, and what it does is give a little more input from the teams which we've been fighting for concerning regulations, so they can't complain," Ecclestone said.

If the Concorde Agreement is signed, it will be a major boost to Todt as he seeks re-election as president of the FIA later this year.

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Englishman David Ward, a former adviser to ex-president Max Mosley, is planning to run against Todt.

Sources say Ward, a former adviser to the Labour Party in the UK, believes he is unlikely to win but wants to run to bring out into the open a number of issues regarding Todt's presidency of which he does not approve.

A signed Concorde Agreement could also raise the possibility of long-discussed flotation of F1.

CVC Capital Partners, which owns 35.5% of F1, has talked about floating the sport on the Singapore stock exchange in September.

The other shareholders in F1 are US investment groups BlackRock and Waddell & Reed, Norway's Norges Bank Investment Management and Ecclestone himself.

Ecclestone's own future as F1's chief executive is uncertain - he has been charged in Germany with bribing a banker to smooth the sale of F1 to CVC eight years ago.

Ecclestone has denied wrongdoing and says he will fight to clear his name.