The Concorde agreement is a contract between the FIA, the Formula One teams and the F1 administration. It determines the rules that the teams will race under along with the share of prize money and television revenue.
But why is it called a Concorde agreement?
Despite what you might be thinking, it’s not named after the supersonic passenger airline. The word concord simply means an agreement or harmony between people or groups. Something that is famously known to happen in Formula One. In typical Formula One fashion however they couldn’t settle calling the agreement after a typical dictionary definition, so instead they named it after the place where the first concord agreement was signed, Place de la Concorde, and therefore changing the spelling of the word.
I am surprised that nobody has tried to purchase naming rights for the concord agreement yet, we could have had the Rolex Concord Agreement, The Pirelli Concord Agreement or even the Rich Energy Concord Agreement.
There have been seven previous concord agreements, with the first one coming way back in 1981 when Nelson Piquet won the Driver’s Championship. This first concord agreement is something that we will take a more in-depth look at in a later article but to summarise, there was a disagreement with the Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile and the Formula One Constructors’ Association, threatening races being cancelled. It never went that far but are you surprised to learn that Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mossley are involved…probably not.
Since then there have been Concorde agreements signed in 1987, 1992, 1997, 1998, 2009, 2013 and now 2020.
Ferrari, McLaren and Williams all announced their support for the new agreement and signed on the 18th August 2020, with Mercedes, Red Bull, Racing Point, Renault, Alpha Tauri, Haas and Alfa Romeo all following the three historic teams the following day.
Mercedes, however, was not too happy at the contract originally, with Team Principal Toto Wolff saying that Mercedes would be the biggest victim in terms of revenue loss, but after having talks with Chase Carrey they got clarification on the questions they had and were then in a position to agree to the new deal.
If they had refused to sign, they would still be allowed to compete in Formula One but would have no income from the sport.
The specific details of the Concorde agreement are often not made available to the public, but Chase Carey has said that it would “create an environment that is both financially fairer and closes the gaps between teams on the race track”. Something that Formula One has been working towards.
So that is a brief look at the Formula One Concord Agreement, something that we will take a more in-depth look at in a later article, looking at the stories around the agreements, as they often didn’t go as smoothly as you think.