Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei says that Formula 1 and the teams are now only "tens of millions apart" on agreeing details of the cost cap that will be a fundamental part of the championship’s future.
F1 teams and bosses have been working on a new Concorde Agreement for several months, and this process is closely linked to the discussion of commercial agreements, championship management, as well as technical and sports regulations.
Greg Maffei reported on the significant progress made by the parties in terms of agreeing on a Concorde Agreement, which will start in 2021.
"I think that huge progress has been made," – Maffei told the audience at a media and communications conference in New York.
"Sure there are issues to be debated. F1 has talked about putting cost caps in for 15 years or more, and when we first started out, Chase [Carey] and his team, about putting a cost cap in F1, people scoffed."
"I think if you go and speak, and many of your investors do, to other teams, on what the scuttlebutt is out there, the cost cap is pretty much accepted. We’re tens of millions apart, not hundreds. And how the splits will work, people are arguing."
Maffei admitted that the goals for 2021 have already been accepted, however he doesn’t know when the agreement will be signed.
"In general, the theory is that we are trying to create more race competition, more on-track passing or overtaking, more balanced spending with cost caps, more balanced payouts, which are not quite as favourable for some of the traditional players, but instead more favourable for the winners, and we’re also not too far behind on those not in the top of the stack."
"All those things are generally accepted. We are moving towards some sort of a conclusion. What will be the catalytic event that brings it to a signing is perhaps less clear, but I think generally a good direction."
As for the F1 teams’ side, the new principal of McLaren Andreas Seidl recently spoke on the topic of budget allocation. According to Andreas, Formula 1 needs economic reform to make the championship viable. He believes that the level of expenditure is extremely high, and F1 needs to change something.
"It is clear that the gap between the top teams and others is huge. Looking back ten years ago, when I left F1, I remember how the top teams were already increasing their budgets, expanding their staff, and developing their infrastructure. You have to invest a lot of money if you want to be competitive. This Formula 1 cannot be sustainable," – said Seidl.
However, Seidl is optimistic about the future of the championship and believes in the possibility of positive changes.
"The dialogue that is now being conducted with Formula 1 and FIA is encouraging. I hope that the changes that will be implemented from 2021 will be beneficial. I hope that this will allow us to be competitive both in sports and in business," – he added.
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