With the 2020 Concorde agreement signed and the remainder of the schedule announced, the future of Formula 1 looks bright.
Despite a few teams having unease about their future participation, the new rules and regulations creates a more balanced and competitive F1.
Concorde Agreement Takes Flight
The future of F1 seems a lot more certain now after all 10 teams signed the Concorde Agreement. When the details of the agreement were originally announced, many teams were hesitant to sign due to the upcoming rules changes. However, with all 10 current teams locking in until 2025, here are a few storylines from the signings.
The 2021 season will not just debut a new car, but also a change in the financial structure of F1 as well. The new years will bring changes to both prize money distribution and the introduction of a budget cap. This setup rubbed Mercedes boss Toto Wolff the wrong way most, believing that his organization would be the most negatively affected by the change. After talks with F1 CEO Chase Carey, and his fears allayed, Wolff signed the agreement on behalf of the team.
“I’ve been pretty vocal after the meetings that we had within the team, to say this is what we need and these are the clarifications we need in order to move forward,” said Wolff to GPfans.com.
“But I’ve changed my opinion in Silverstone. I don’t think that the teams will ever be united. Everybody tries to achieve some little deals outside everybody.”
For the struggling and once-mighty Williams, everything has been going further and further downhill. With their participation in the sport under question, Frank Williams was pretty much forced to sell his beloved team if they wanted to be able to continue to race in 2021.
Maybe it was due to a large amount of North American sponsors or maybe it was because of their young and talented drivers, but New York City based Dorilton Capital purchased the team for $200 million to solidify their spot on the grid for the future. The company cites the competitive upgrades to the new Concorde Agreement as part of the reason they agreed to purchase the team.
“In Dorilton we know we have found exactly that. People who understand the sport and what it takes to be successful. People who respect the team’s legacy and will do everything to ensure it succeeds in the future. As a family we have always put our team first” said Claire Williams to AutoWeek.
“Making the team successful again and protecting our people has been at the heart of this process from the start. This may be the end of an era for Williams as a family-owned team, but we know it is in good hands.”
With nowhere else to go but up, Williams Racing needed to be sold or else the historic brand would have likely folded and left the sport.
For Ferrari, the struggling powerhouse believes that “stability and growth will be in F1’s future. Despite the team falling down the grid in 2020, the Italian outlet is excited at the potential chance for big gains with the new package.
“In the path that has led to defining the new Concorde Agreement, we have been able to appreciate Ferrari’s constructive role, always aimed at making the pinnacle of motorsport stronger, fairer, and more sustainable” said Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri to Motorsport.com.
“Now the scene is set to work together to ensure F1 is even more spectacular and attractive for the hundreds of millions of fans from around the world who love this sport.”
With the sport’s two biggest fanbases, Ferrari and Mercedes locked in alongside everyone else, the brand new dawn of F1 shines on the smaller teams just as much as the bigger ones.
Finally, we come to one of the notable door smashing teams: Haas F1.
In similar shades to Williams, team owner Gene Haas was unhappy with the current money distribution in the sport. With F1’s newest team sliding down the grid, the American outlet’s purpose of promoting the Haas Automation brand seems to have been met.
“The budget cap should level the playing field, it will level the playing field – just maybe not in the first year, but in the mid-term for sure,” explained Haas F1 team boss Guenther Steiner to F1i.
“The payments, to make it more equal, will also mean the smaller teams get a little more revenue.
“It’s never enough for the small teams by the way, but it levels the field and that should be the aim of a sport – any day, anybody can win.”
With all these teams locked in for the next 5 years and Liberty Media interested in adding new more teams in the future, F1 future aims to the most competitive in series history.