A statement issued this morning suggests that the protracted battle over the new Concorde Agreement, the contract that binds together the FIA, teams and commercial rights holder, is about to be signed.
The seven year deal should be formalised in the next weeks, according to the statement,
“The Formula One Group and the FIA have signed an agreement setting out the framework for implementation of the 2013 Concorde Agreement.
“This agreement will come into force upon approval by the respective governing bodies of the signatory parties in the coming weeks.”
It has taken a long time to get to this point and there have been plenty of wrangles and confrontations between Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt.
“There have obviously been lots of things we’ve had to sort out,” said Ecclestone. “It’s a longer term thing, and this forms most of the Concorde Agreement for the teams as well, so we can get the whole lot put to bed now.”
The teams are set to share around 63% of the profits of F1. Ecclestone has had commercial deals in place with the F1 teams – except Marussia – for over a year, but the details of the division between FIA and FOM have taken some time to resolve. The old agreement expired in December last year.
The devil will be in the detail in terms of what areas of responsibilty may have shifted – Ecclestone was very keen to get control of all press and photographer accreditation, for example – but it’s a positive for the sport if the agreement can be signed and for CVC, the majority owners of Formula 1 Group as they will be able to consider floating the company on the stock market, once the next steps in the situation over Ecclestone’s indictment in Germany is clarified.
The prosecutors have indicted him, now a judge must decide whether to bring him to trial and set a date.
At that point he may be asked to step down temporarily as CEO of the F1 business pending resolution of his legal position, or he may not, time will tell.
The paddock in Hungary has been buzzing with talk of who might succeed him if that were to happen, with names from the paddock like Christian Horner being bandied around by Ecclestone allies.
One name which seems to have widespread traction in the paddock is Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, the 68 year old Chairman and former Chief executive of Nestle, who is also chairman of F1′s board.