Mercedes is “the biggest victim” in Formula 1’s latest Concorde Agreement according to Toto Wolff, which would result in a major financial hit for the German manufacturer.
Wolff confirmed on Friday that Mercedes has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal and is reluctant until further changes are made.
The Concorde Agreement is the contract that governs the sport and determines how much money each team is paid.
The previous agreement heavily favours Ferrari, which receives a huge payment called the Long-Standing Team (LST) payment, even before its result are taken into consideration. McLaren, Red Bull, Williams and Mercedes receive a similar but far lesser payment for their historic standing.
Under the new terms, Liberty Media is looking to move to a fairer revenue share with the bigger teams giving up some income which will be redistributed throughout the grid. The deal will still include a bonus for long-standing teams and remains weighted in Ferrari’s favour.
Wolff insists Mercedes has no issue with a fairer revenue model, but believes it will be the biggest loser under the new terms.
“The Concorde Agreement is a complex topic,” said Wolff. “It obviously involves ten teams, the FIA and FOM, and we respect that everybody obviously has their point of view and their own interests at heart.
“We from Mercedes made clear that we are happy with a more equitable split of the prize fund, the way success is rewarded and is possible for everybody, we agreed to.
“We are, I would say, the biggest victim in terms of prize fund loss in all of that. Ferrari has maintained an advantageous position, for Red Bull it obviously balances out with [AlphaTauri], so it’s us that are hurt the most.”
Wolff believes Mercedes’ current form and the fact it is in possession of the sport’s most known driver, Lewis Hamilton, should stand in its favour.
“I feel that Mercedes has contributed to the sport over the last years,” he said.
“Apart from being competitive on track we have the driver that has clearly the most global appeal, and we feel that whilst being in those negotiations we weren’t treated in the way we should have been.
“Therefore there is a bunch of open topics for us that are legal, commercial and sporting, and in our point of view I don’t feel ready to sign a Concorde Agreement.”
Wolff’s opinion is at odds with his rivals, most of which have publicly confirmed they are ready to sign up.
“Yes we are ready,” said Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto. “There is some very little wording that needs to be addressed but in general principles we are happy.
“We have a good understanding with Chase [Carey] and we understand the priority to helping the smaller teams whilst our role as Ferrari has been recognised.”
McLaren’s Zak Brown agreed: “We’re in same position as Ferrari. We’re ready to sign, we can hit the August 12 deadline. All the fundamentals are there. I’m really excited at the agreement. It will bring a much healthier, more competitive sport and the biggest winners will be the fans and the sport itself.”
Claire Williams added: “You have the three most historic teams in F1 ready to sign.”