LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One’s three oldest and historically most successful teams -- Ferrari, McLaren and Williams -- committed to the sport until at least the end of 2025 on Tuesday by putting their signatures to a new commercial ‘Concorde Agreement’.
Tuesday was the first day the 10 teams could sign with rights holders Liberty Media and the governing FIA and McLaren were first to confirm they had done so, followed by their Italian and English rivals.
The final deadline is the end of the month.
“This is the right deal at the right time for the sport, its owners, its teams and, most of all, the fans,” said McLaren Racing chief executive Zak Brown in a statement.
“A more equitable sport is better for everyone: greater balance in the sharing of revenues among all the teams and clearer, simpler governance that cuts through vested interests and puts the sport first.
Brown, whose team have competed in the championship since 1966 and have won eight constructors’ and 12 drivers’ titles, said the new agreement would make the teams collectively stronger.
“Everyone has had to give ground for the bigger outcome, which will be a more competitive, exciting and thriving Formula One for future generations, which in turn secures a healthy sport for both participants and fans alike,” he added.
Ferrari chief executive Louis Camilleri said it was an important step to ensure the sport’s stability and growth.
Formula One’s finances have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with races so far being run without spectators while others such as the showcase Monaco Grand Prix have been cancelled.
“We are very confident that the collaboration with the FIA and Liberty Media can make Formula One even more attractive and spectacular, while preserving its status as the ultimate technological challenge,” Camilleri said in a statement.
Ferrari are the only team to have raced in every world championship season since the first in 1950 and have won 16 constructors’ titles and 15 drivers’ crowns.
Williams, the third oldest and most successful team who are currently struggling, said the new deal was “vitally important” and represented “a significant opportunity for Williams to continue on our journey back towards the front of the grid.”
Champions Mercedes are also set to sign soon after earlier resistance.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff had said the new agreement hurt his team the most financially, while Ferrari had “maintained an advantageous position”, but they had decided to go forward.
Formula One chief executive Chase Carey said grand prix racing and Ferrari had “gone hand in hand since 1950 and we are happy that this relationship is set to continue for a long time, as it is part of the very DNA of this sport.”
He hailed Ferrari’s “constructive role, always aimed at making the pinnacle of motorsport stronger, fairer and more sustainable.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, Editing by Hugh Lawson and Christian Radnedge
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