Mercedes GP still not ready to accept Formula One’s new terms

Article by Anita Panait, on March 28, 2012

Mercedes GP remains the only manufacturer-backed team that has yet to enter a deal in order to continue competing in Formula One after the current Concorde Agreement expires at the end of 2012. The team is currently holding negotiations with Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, but it seems both parties cannot agree on the terms of the deal.

Ecclestone has disclosed via a statement release that he has reached agreements with majority of Formula One teams like Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull. Other teams who reached agreement with Formula One but were not named in Ecclestone’s statement were believed to be Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso and Lotus.

Other non-manufacturer-backed teams that are still holding negotiations with Formula One are Williams, Caterham, Marussia and HRT. The Mercedes GP teams are believed to be holding their ground to get better terms because its parent company, Mercedes-Benz or Daimler by extension, does not exist for Formula One.

This means that even if Mercedes does not continue racing in Formula, it will still be alright since the company could theoretically take its money elsewhere. The opposite is true for the other teams like Williams who exist to race. Mercedes GP are understood to be unsatisfied with the terms being offered to the team, which are not the same ones laid out to the top teams.

Sky News grabbed last week an unsigned version of the new Concorde Agreement, which seems to suggest that special incentives were being offered to particular teams like Ferrari, including an offer for the Italian carmaker to possibly hold a stake in the sport. People privy to the matter, however, suggest that this offer is unlikely.

The incentives also entail Ferrari and Red Bull getting seats on the board of Formula One’s holding company. The leaked document also shows Formula One offering cash bonuses to teams who had won the constructors’ title since 2000, teams who had not changed their name since 2000 and an annual ’Double Champions’ payment for teams who had won titles in any two or more consecutive seasons including after the 2008 season. [source: Telegraph]

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