F1 and teams just "tens of millions apart" over 2021 cost cap
Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei claims that F1 and the teams are now only “tens of millions apart” on agreeing details of the cost cap that will be a fundamental part of the sport’s future, and which the big players have been resisting.
Maffei also insists that “huge progress” has been made towards finalising a new Concorde Agreement that will start in 2021.
Both sides have been working towards a new Concorde for some months, although the process of tying down the future commercial arrangements, governance and the technical and sporting regulations in parallel is a complex one.
“I think that huge progress has been made,” Maffei told the audience at a media and communications conference in New York. “Sure there are issues to be debated. F1 has talked about putting cost caps in for 15 years or more, and when we first started out, Chase [Carey] and his team, about putting a cost cap in F1, people scoffed.
“I think if you go and speak, and many of you investors do, to other teams, on what the scuttlebutt is out there, the cost cap is pretty much accepted.
"We’re tens of millions apart, not hundreds. And how the splits will work, people are arguing.”
Maffei insisted that the F1’s goals for 2021 have now been accepted, but he admitted that it wasn’t yet apparent when the new Concorde would finally be signed off.
“In general, the theory is that we are trying to create more race competition, more on-track passing or overtaking, more balanced spending with cost caps, more balanced payouts, which are not quite as favourable for some of the traditional players, but instead more favourable for the winners, and we’re also not too far behind on those not in the top of the stack.
“All those things are generally accepted. We are moving towards some sort of a conclusion. What will be the catalytic event that brings it to a signing is perhaps less clear, but I think generally a good direction.”
Maffei stressed that he wants a better show: “Unfortunately Barcelona was not as exciting as we would like. Mercedes has done very well, credit is due to Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff. They’re doing too well – we’d like to see a lot more [competition] on any given Sunday.”
More coverage of 2021 rule-making:
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Hamilton: Teenage F1 aces prove cars "not hard enough to drive"