Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team did not get all it wanted from Formula 1’s Concorde Agreement talks.
Wolff had openly spoken out recently against the way that Mercedes had been treated in the discussions over the new Concorde Agreement, as he especially felt the German car manufacturer’s contribution to the sport had not been recognised by F1.
But despite his clear unease as the negotiations entered their final phase, in the end Mercedes joined all the other teams in committing to F1 for the next five-year period by signing up.
Reflecting on why Mercedes elected to sign despite not being happy, Wolff said that both his team and F1 had to give way for the good of the sport.
“Look, it is a negotiation at the end of the day,” he said. “I have great respect for Chase Carey and the complications in dealing with all the stakeholders. Everybody will have a different agenda and different objectives.
“On the other side, why I was outspoken was that I felt that Mercedes’ role, particularly in the last seven years, wasn’t maybe recognised in the way I would have wished for in terms of the financial split.
“But on the other side, I think he tried hard to create a better show, to balance the prize fund distribution better, and I think he achieved it.
“Obviously I would have wished a better situation for Mercedes but it is what it is. In the final part of the negotiations we agreed on some compromises that found their way into the agreement, and you know, it’s with every negotiation, at the end of the day if both stand up at the table and are not quite satisfied it’s probably a good outcome.”
Rival Ferrari did come out of the Concorde discussions quite satisfied, though, having kept its long-standing veto over rules as well as securing an extra financial payment for its historical significance to the sport.
But team boss Mattia Binotto accepted that the next phase of F1 would be ‘challenging’ for his team as the budget cap bit.
Speaking about signing up, Binotto said: “I think it’s important for the sport, at first, to have stability and to have clear regulations. Plus new regulations for the future, as well on the financial side.
“I think that the budget cap is certainly very challenging for us, but good for the sport and eventually good as well for the economics of Ferrari, looking at the future.
“I think that having a Concorde Agreement where revenues are more balanced between teams, top teams to small teams, is important as well, to make the sport more sustainable from the financial point of view. So I think these are all good conditions to look very positive for a stronger sport in the future, and hopefully as well a better show.”
Wolff said that ultimately the best outcome from the talks was that nobody felt they completely won with the deal.
“I think we are all having the feeling that maybe we could have achieved more,” he said. “But as I said to you, that is maybe an outcome that is good for working together in the future.
“If one party stands up and says ‘I just got the best deal’, the other one will feel aggrieved.”
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