Formula One may, to outsiders, seem like a monolith, but it is in fact a gathering of rather disparate parties. There's the FIA which governs the series from a sporting standpoint, there's the collective of teams competing in the series, and Formula One Management, the company that holds the sport's commercial rights under the direction of one Bernie Ecclestone. The only way they all get along is through the terms of the Concorde Agreement – the contract that divides up the spoils, namely television revenues and prize cash, between the parties. And that contract is coming up for renewal.

Ecclestone is eager to please the teams and get them to sign what will become the seventh Concorde Agreement when the current one expires at the end of the year. And to get there, rather than negotiate with all the teams equally, Bernie has been offering big incentives to certain teams. Those include in particular Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull – the teams which have, in the past dozen years or more, accounted for the lion's share of the titles (both drivers and constructors). F1 would suffer a tremendous blow if any of these teams were to leave, so Ecclestone has reportedly offered them such incentives as cash bonuses, shares in Formula One Management and seats on its board, and performance incentives that would in theory be open to any team that achieves them but would in practice favor those three top team.

One team being left out of those incentives is Mercedes, one of the largest automakers participating in the sport – running its own team and supplying engines to two more (including McLaren), not to mention the safety and medical cars used at each grand prix. According to The Telegraph, Mercedes is now threatening to take legal action under European competition laws (regulations that are formulated to prevent the abuse of a dominant position) if it gets left out of the incentives being offered to other top teams. Ecclestone may be forced to cave to Mercedes' demands, lest he find himself back in court while losing a top team and engine supplier from his roster.


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  • 19 Comments
      jvshenderson
      • 2 Years Ago
      I know its naive to think that all the teams have equal influence, but I didn't know that the advantages could be explicitly written into a contract. I definitely back Mercedes, and other even less powerful teams, on this issue. Doesn't Bernie realize that it is boring when the top teams win year after year? If anyone should be getting an upper hand, it should be teams with smaller budgets. Added competition and a changing script would bring more fans to the sport than another year of Red Bull McLaren Ferrari dominance...
        samagon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jvshenderson
        the first two races this year have been absolutely thrilling compared with last year, especially when sauber was a missed turn away from winning the GP, rather than a solid second place to Ferrari. Hope the rest of this season is as great as the first 2 races, and I can't wait to watch live in Austin!!!
          • 2 Years Ago
          @samagon
          [blocked]
          JB Kolod
          • 2 Years Ago
          @samagon
          If Mercedes doesn't get a top five finish this weekend it will be an embarrassment. How they have managed to accumulate only 1 point while having two great drivers and one of the top three cars (in my opinion) is unbelievable and not at all a testament to the level of the team.
      K.C.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't think F1 is corrupt. It doesn't have to be. The teams with the most money split the qualifying times into ever smaller fractions of a second between them and then challenge the skills of the most gifted drivers in the world. The good part is that there are increasingly diminished returns from those megabucks budgets these days and the trickle down of technology is beginning to even the field. This season will demonstrate that more than ever before. Bernie, too much money and not much sense. He lives in an altered reality. Nothing new there.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      JB Kolod
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why wouldn't he just offer the incentives to Mercedes as well? Maybe they don't win constructor titles but the fact they supply the engines to the team that does should mean something...
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JB Kolod
        [blocked]
      Mchicha
      • 2 Years Ago
      F1 is just a European soap opera
      Jeff
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is there anymore corrupt professional sport than F1. Unreal, that Bernie is still able to pull these antics.
        Masschine
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jeff
        It's not a corrupt sport it's just Bernie being Bernie. The man's a genius but usually after he steps on toes or backs over people and has to apologize with his check book.
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Personally, with all the constant rule changes and politics involved, Formula 1 could dissolve forever and I wouldn't mind one bit. As long as the ELMS and ALMS soldier on, I'm happy. Not as many races, but not as much BS either. Besides, there are plenty of other racing series out there, with equal or even higher levels of competition. V8 Supercars quickly come to mind. :)
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Shrawan Raja
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is Bernie Ecclestone good for Formula 1 any more? Should he hang up his boots after picking a successor?
        sparrk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Shrawan Raja
        when was that prick good for F1 ?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Shrawan Raja
        [blocked]
      The Truth
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don´t understand why RBR should get some of the cake. Sure they have two titles (or four depending on how you count) But they have in no way been apart of F1 like Ferrari and Mclaren have. I expect Mclaren and Ferrari to get better deals then the rest. Same deal when you start working at a new place. You can´t get the CEO´s salary from day 1. You have to earn it.
      Love Great Danes
      • 2 Years Ago
      BYE
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