Formula 1 2020: Toto Wolff says Mercedes ‘victims’ in proposed F1 commercial deal
The teams have been asked to sign up to show their agreement with the proposed new terms, which intend to deliver a more equitable distribution of F1's revenue, by 12 August.
Silverstone, United Kingdom: Mercedes has been mistreated in discussions about a new commercial deal and is not prepared to sign the proposed Concorde Agreement for 2021 and beyond, team chief Toto Wolff said on Friday as he insisted the world champions are "victims" compared to bitter rivals Ferrari.
Formula One is in detailed talks with all 10 teams as it seeks agreement on a new deal to replace the current Concorde Agreement, which expires at the end of this year.
The teams have been asked to sign up to show their agreement with the proposed new terms, which intend to deliver a more equitable distribution of the sport's revenue, by 12 August.
The sport's American owners Liberty Media is seeking to make Formula One fairer and become more sustainable and leading teams including Ferrari and McLaren have said they are ready to sign.
But Wolff said Mercedes are not in agreement with the current terms on offer.
"We made it very clear that we are happy with a more equitable split of the prize fund — the way success is rewarded and made possible for everybody, we agree to," he said.
"But we are, I would say, the biggest victim in terms of prize fund loss in all of that. Ferrari has maintained an advantageous position.
"With Red Bull, it obviously balances out with AlphaTauri. So, it's us that are hurt the most.
"I feel that Mercedes has contributed to the sport over the last years. We have — apart from being competitive on-track — the driver that has clearly the most global appeal.
"We feel that whilst being in those negotiations, we weren't treated in the way we should have been and, therefore, there's a bunch of open topics for us that are legal, commercial, and sporting.
"In our point of view, I don't feel ready to sign a Concorde Agreement."
He declined to elaborate on the details of Mercedes dissatisfaction, but it is believed that one factor is Ferrari's success in retaining a veto over Formula One's rules and an extra bonus payment for the team’s historical significance in the sport.
In a statement, Formula One replied to Mercedes complaints.
"Formula 1 has engaged with all teams in a collaborative and constructive way and listened to all their views," said the statement.
"This agreement is important for the future of the sport and all our fans.
"We are moving forward with this and will not be delayed any longer."
Ultimately, the rift leaves Formula One at odds with the sport's champions just five days before the deadline — and with little sign of much moderation on either side.
Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto said: "I don't know what will be Mercedes' position, that's up to them to decide.
"Obviously, I hope they sign and it will be great to have Mercedes with us next year and beyond.
"But we are the only ones to have been there since the very start of F1, in 70 years. I think Ferrari will be there as always it has been a part of our history. We are fully committed and will certainly sign."
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