Monday, May 7, 2012

Formula 1 Politics: Mercedes to Quit?

Formula 1 and Politics are two sides of a coin and are inseparable. This feeling is being reinforced every other day.

The latest political battlefield in F1 is around the new concorde agreement. 

In March Bernie Ecclestone had announced that he had concluded an agreement with a majority of the Formula One teams over a new Concorde Agreement. The existing concorde agreement is bound to get over by the end of this year. He had announced via a statement "I am pleased to announce that we have reached commercial agreements with the majority of the current Formula One teams, including Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull racing about the terms one which they will continue competing in Formula One after the current concorde agreement expires at the end of this year."

It is said that under the proposed agreement, any team that has competed in Formula One since 2000 without making unapproved change of name will get additional money. Past constructor championship winner and back-to-back championship winner will also get an additional handsome amount. This was done to placate Red Bull. Also, like the previous concorde agreement the longest standing team in the sport will get additional payments. This provision will benefit Ferrari. 

These provisions have hit Mercedes hard. Despite Mercedes being a huge car manufacturer, it is bound to get much less money than a team like Red Bull which doesn't have any history in motoring or motorsport. Furthermore, CVC the Formula One owners are planning to list Formula One in Singapore Stock Exchange and Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren are going to get a seat in the board. Mercedes is not given a seat in the board. So Mercedes has been planning to quit the sport. It would be too much of injustice and loss of face for a marque like Mercedes remaining out of the board. 

Interestingly the ruling regime of Bahrain is being given a seat in the board of the new company that is going to control Formula One after the stock flotation in Singapore Stock Exchange. That answers the desperation for Formula One to race in this years Bahrain Grand Prix though there were huge protests against the current regime with people being killed. 

Clearly Money speaks the loudest in Formula One. It would be a big loss for Formula One and the numerous spectators if Mercedes were to quit the sport. 

1 comment:

Indiawilds said...

Mercedes spokesperson has said that they are in discussions with the commercial rights holder CVC and that they are not going to comment on the discussions.