Liberty expects F1 and teams to ‘arm wrestle’ over money

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Liberty Media expects F1 teams to drive a hard bargain during their upcoming negotiations with the sport’s commercial rights holder over Grand Prix racing’s 2026 Concorde Agreement.

Talks are already underway to work out the terms of the future version of the all-important covenant that dictates revenue sharing and governance between Formula 1, the teams and the FIA.

Furthermore, the discussions are set to unfold against the backdrop of the sport’s remarkable economic growth and F1’s 2026 regulation overhaul.

Speaking on the latest James Allen on F1 podcast, Liberty Media chief executive Greg Maffei believes that securing a new deal with the teams, who will be eager to capitalize on the sport’s current boom, won’t be a simple rubber-stamping exercise.

“I credit the leadership of Chase [Carey] and the leadership of Stefano [Domenicali], they’ve definitely tried to set a tone for the teams that we’re not going to cut one-off deals,” Maffei explained.

“This is an open process. The teams are making a lot more money - growth and sponsors - and that excitement has created goodwill.

“The teams and we will surely arm wrestle over numbers. You know, the teams would like more money, I wouldn’t be stunned, and we might want more money, they shouldn’t be surprised. That’s going to happen."

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While the teams find themselves in a strong bargaining position to fight for a larger slice of the revenue, Maffei feels that discussions have kicked off on a positive tone.

“In general, there’s pretty good feeling and agreement, and the things are working well, and it’s in our collective interest to get something solidified,” he added.

“There have been times when they started racing, without an agreed corporate agreement, and here we are several years before [it expires], and we have confidence, we’re going to get it done well in advance.”

The upcoming Concorde Agreement negotiations are likely to see teams table once again their concerns over the growing number of races that make up F1’s schedule and the physical and mental toll the calendar exerts on team personnel and on the sport’s entire on-site workforce.

Maffei insists F1’s agenda won’t grow past its current 24-race docket as the sport seeks to prioritize a sustainable workload for everyone, even as it explores expansion

“We had a great race in China this year. I think there’s an opportunity in south-east Asia,” commented the American executive.

“We have interest from places like Thailand, and we have Indonesia and South Korea, can we meet them all now? No, we’re locked. We’re not going above 24 races, that is set.

“We actually have the right to go to 25 in the Concorde Agreement, but I think there’s common agreement that 24 is where we’re at, we’re not going to go higher.

“We’re also trying to think about the great historical venues, how do we balance them against new races?

“These are challenges, everybody wants to have a race. That’s the good news. Who can have a race that’s exciting for fans, that helps grow the base.

“That is a great experience that actually makes good money for the teams, and so that’s a balance to try and think about where to grow.”

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