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GP Week : Issue 191
F1 >>> nEWs FIA ANd FOM GET (CON)-CORdIAL The FIA and Bernie ecclestone’s Formula One Group have signed a pact governing the implementation of the long-delayed Concorde Agreement, in a deal that gives the governing body significantly more financial firepower and takes the sport a step closer to actually bringing the agreement into force. The Concorde Agreement is a confidential tripartite contract between the teams, the governing body, and the commercial rights holder, and among other things the document sets out how much income the teams receive, both from television rights and as prize money. The most recent Concorde expired at the end of last year, and since then all parties involved have been involved in long-running and painstaking negotiations to hammer out a new deal to secure the future of the sport. A number of bilateral deals have already been signed between Ecclestone, the sport’s commercial supremo, and 10 of the 11 teams competing in the championship, and with the agreement with the FIA now also in place, the process to sign the actual Concorde Agreement can now begin. “Now that the agreement is operative, the parties will move towards the conclusion of a multi-party Concorde Agreement,” the FIA said in a statement. But Ecclestone is yet to agree terms with Marussia, and it could still take some time before the Concorde is signed by all parties concerned, without which it cannot come into force. “The next step is to get the FIA, [Formula One Management] and 11 teams around a table,” Reuters quoted one senior team official as saying. “At the moment we have ten bilateral agreements with the teams and some kind of [memorandum of understanding] between the FIA and the commercial rights holder.” But the preliminary deal, which gives the FIA “significantly improved financial means,” is sure to be seen as a victory for president Jean Todt as he prepares to stand for re-election in what is turning out to be a bitter fight for the top motorsport job against former ally and presidential challenger David Ward, who also acknowledged the Frenchman’s efforts towards getting the FIA a sweeter financial deal. “This is a solid achievement by Jean Todt and I congratulate him for it,” Ward said in a statement. “The question now is what will the new resources from Concorde be used for? The answer should be for investment in 'grass roots' development of motor sport. Jean Todt has yet to publish a manifesto or explain how he will use the new funds now available to the FIA. Sooner rather than later this should be made clear to the FIA membership.” 11 GPWEEK.com // 11 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: