Formula 1 heading towards franchise model - Wolff

Formula 1 heading towards franchise model - Wolff
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The Formula One Group  has initiated talks with F1 teams about replacing the current Concorde Agreement with a franchise model, according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

The commercial relationship between the teams and the commercial rights holder has historically been governed by the sacred Concorde Agreement.

But the sport's current income distribution model, devised by the former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, has been decried by F1's smaller teams because it heavily weights payments to the richest teams and leaves the smaller outfits struggling for influence and survival.

"Liberty Media has a very good approach, namely that the Concorde Agreement, as it was formerly called, will no longer exist," Wolff told Austria's ORF broadcaster.

"In principle, a team in future will have this 'franchise' forever, which helps to add value because you do not have to renegotiate every eight years," he revealed.

A franchise system, a concept which is widespread in many US sports, would indeed appeal to the mid-field teams as it would likely take away much of the fear linked to a lack of financial revenue.

Force India's Bob Fernley also expressed in the past his support for the emergence of a franchise approach to F1.

"It takes years to build an F1 team," Fernley said. "Owners can come and go.

"What you need is the ability to create these teams and for owners to come in, enjoy them for a period of time, add value to them, or if they don’t do a good job, take a loss. And then be able to transfer them on.

"It’s the teams that are critical, because it takes so long to build them.

"People buy teams because they are obviously fully functional, but it has to be formalised into a proper franchise system."

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