When it was finally announced that every current Formula One team of the 2020 grid had signed the 2020 Concorde Agreement, it put to bed the rumour and speculation that this would not be possible. Everyone can see that the intention of the 2020 Concorde Agreement is sustainability; reducing financial disparities and to promote closer racing. The past fortnight has seen details emerge from teams as to how this outcome was reached. Christian Horner, Team Principal of Red Bull Racing, says that there was ‘of course back and forth on certain points’ but the talks were ‘remarkably straightforward’.
Speaking to the media ahead of this weekend’s Belgian F1 Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, Christian Horner outlined why Red Bull Racing signed the 2020 Concorde Agreement:
“Negotiations were lengthy, especially given the global challenges facing the sport but in some respects they were also remarkably straightforward in comparison with previous years,” Horner said.
Christian Horner also provided an insight into the way the negotiations of the past with F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone differed to the approach taken by Liberty Media:
“Negotiating with Bernie Ecclestone in the past was always good fun, always a bit different, but Liberty were scrupulously fair with the negotiations and we were in fact the first team to sign it in Barcelona. You have to take a holistic view on these things. That is what the agreement was, that is what Chase Carey and Liberty were putting on the table and it was up to the teams if they chose to take it or leave it.”
“There was of course back and forth on certain points and there are elements that please some teams more than others, but in the end everyone came to agree on the best way forward for the good of the sport.”
Formula One always appears to be a sport with a target on its back which is quite fitting as this phrase is one often used by the reigning champion Lewis Hamilton. These revised terms have been set out in the hope of making the sport more competitive and sustainable in these modern times. When you couple this with a season budget cap of $145 million coming into force in 2021 the future is bright.
Christian Horner is aware that the sport is facing a challenging time:
“It is an important agreement for F1 and although the details are confidential, it provides stability and continuity for the future so we are pleased to get it over the line...Liberty have definitely achieved some good things for the sport in terms of opening it up and generating interest from a new fan base which can only be a positive.”
“The most important challenge now is getting the 2022 regulations right to promote better racing.”
After all the cries of sustainability and budget, this is the crux of what all F1 fans want to see – better (and closer) racing. We are at least half way there with the teams in agreement so who knows what could be around the corner.