The Mercedes-Benz and Williams F1 teams have yet to sign a new commercial agreement with the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), sparking rumors that the two teams may pull out of the sport.
All race teams that participate in F1 are represented by FOTA, which looks after all dealings with the FIA (Federation International de L’automobile) and represents all of the racing teams interests as a whole. FOTA and the FIA have to deal with television rights, advertising and making sure the race teams receive their fair share of financial compensation. To ensure this, the two organizations sign what is known as a Concorde Agreement, which dictates the races each team will compete in and how to evenly distribute television revenues and prize money. The current Concorde Agreement was signed in 2009, and will expire on December 31, 2012. This is why a new agreement is being sought by FOTA and the FIA to ensure the future of Formula 1.
Bernie Ecclestone, president of Formula One management is looking to make this deal, and has already gotten some signatures. “I am very pleased to announce that we have reached commercial agreements with the majority of the current Formula 1 teams, including Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull Racing, about the terms on which they will continue competing in Formula 1 after the current Concorde Agreement expires at the end of this year,” said Ecclestone.
What this statement also details is that the Mercedes-Benz and Williams F1 teams have not signed the agreement. Both teams have yet to agree on their share of the pie, saying that because of each teams respective history in the sport, they should receive more compensation than some of the other, newer teams.
This leaves the situation completely up in the air, with some saying the Mercedes-Benz may even take legal action against Ecclestone and F1 stating that they want to be involved, but are being short changed.
It would be a shame if either of these teams did not renew, as they are both main stays in the Formula 1 circuit and carry names that fans love.
[Source: BBC Sport]