Ecclestone confirms that majority of teams committed to F1 beyond 2012

Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) CEO Formula One Group (FOM).  Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday 12 November 2011.

Bernie Ecclestone

Mar.24 (Reuters-GMM) Bernie Ecclestone said a majority of the teams currently competing in F1, including Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull, have committed to continuing racing in the sport after the current Concorde agreement expires at the end of this year.

The Concorde agreement is a confidential commercial agreement between the rights holding company and the teams whose cars compete in the 20-race series. The agreement also governs how much of the television rights money and prize money teams receive.

“”I am very pleased to announce that we have reached commercial agreements with the majority of the current F1 teams, including Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull Racing, about the terms on which they will continue competing in F1 after the current Concorde Agreement expires at the end of this year,” the promoter said in a statement posted on the official F1 website.

Ecclestone’s statement comes after he told Reuters in a telephone interview that he had recommended Singapore as the best place to float part of the motor racing business to its majority owners CVC Capital.

There have also been rumours that Ferrari and Red Bull had agreed a special deal with the 81-year old,  who has built the sport from a series for motoring enthusiasts into a global enterprise that would see the oldest team in F1 take a shareholding in the sport while both teams would gain seats on the sport’s board.

Team principals with Paul Hembery (GBR) Pirelli Motorsport Director, Marco Tronchetti Provera (ITA) Pirelli President and Francesco Gori (ITA) Pirelli CEO. Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday 6 May 2011.

F1 team principals during a Pirelli photocall last year

The sport’s governing body, the FIA, now run by former Ferrari principal Jean Todt, ultimately owns the commercial rights but signed them over to Ecclestone’s Formula One Management in a 100-year deal in 2001 as part of a separation of commercial and regulatory activities.

Meanwhile GMM reports that Mercedes may have withheld its signature from the new 2013 Concorde Agreement because of a disagreement about bonus money.

That is the claim of Germany’s authoritative Auto Motor und Sport, hot on the heels of Bernie Ecclestone’s news on Saturday that the “majority” of teams – including grandees Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren – have now agreed terms.

The German report said Mercedes has recently been pushing for additional money on the basis of the team’s historical lineage.

Auto Motor und Sport said teams are not only paid according to their recent achievements, but also their historical success and years of participation.

Before it was Mercedes, the Brackley based entrant was known as Brawn GP, Honda, BAR and Tyrrell.

It is also believed that Williams is yet to sign the 2013 Concorde.

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