F1 News: Concorde Agreement, Piquet’s Dismissal + More

Max Mosley

“The agreement, I swear it was *this big*!” Mosley said, aghast.

It seems that a plan for peace has finally come about in the world of F1…although that plan was leaked ahead of schedule by Max Mosley himself, jumping the gun by four days.

Still, all’s well that ends well, right? The new Concorde agreement will continue the 1998 one in part, but will also alter some key points: first and foremost, the teams will now get 50% of the money coming from the two avenues most responsible for revenue in F1, TV rights and fees charged to event promoters. This is a significant gain for the teams, as they’re currently only seeing 27% of those profits. Second, the teams will now have a say in rules changes and will be allowed to vote on them, instead of the old headmaster/student relationship Mosley had been imposing of late. Third, cost-cutting measures will be discussed and agreed upon by the teams instead of the severe budget caps Mosley had initially wanted to impose. All in all, not a bad day’s work, especially considering that this agreement will last until 2012. Perhaps now that Mosley’s really and truly stepping down, he’ll consider becoming a UN Peacekeeper? ;)

In absolutely fantastic other news, Felipe Massa has left the hospital in Budapest as of Monday, and was on a plane scheduled to arrive in Sao Paolo that night. His wife Rafaella flew to Budapest to accompany him home, and he’s said to be in good spirits, considering.

“Thank God, I’m feeling very well. I only have a bit of swelling in the region of my left eye. I’m anxious to return to Brazil and continue the recovery process.”

In not entirely surprising other news, Nelson Piquet Jr. was officially dropped from the Renault F1 team. What was somewhat surprising was his official statement regarding his dismissal, which is well worth a read. He apparently got into quite a heated and very public argument with Flavio Briatore in the Italian press last week, which culminated in both his termination from the team and this statement, which levels a number of accusations against Briatore and the Renault team and their handling of Piquet Jr’s career. Meanwhile, Nelson Piquet Sr. is rumoured to be interested in acquiring the newly-available BMW Sauber team for himself, possibly with an eye toward providing a seat for his progeny for 2010. We’ll have more information on this story as it develops.

In ongoing-epic-battle other news, Williams and Ferrari are fighting tooth and nail once more, and Keith Collantine at F1Fanatic has written a nice retrospective of all the good times the two teams have given each other in the past. The more things change, the more they do seem to stay the same.

Finally, we’ll end this news roundup on the same person we began it with: Max Mosley. Remember Bernie Ecclestone running interference for Mosley back when more information about Alan Donnelly and Manor Grand Prix’s ties to Mosley were first revealed? New information has now come to light that the FIA was unofficially demanding that teams in consideration for positions on the 2010 grid commit to using Cosworth engines. Denied applicants AMCO have formally lodged a complaint with the European Commission on the basis of it violating anti-competition laws. David Richards spoke on the matter as well, calling it “highly irregular;” ProDrive had already lined up a technical collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, which may have been one reason why they were denied entry despite the fact that, according to Richards, “I’m fairly certain that we were the only team who could prove to the FIA that it had 40 million [pounds] in a bank account and was therefore ready for the off.”

Although the world of F1 and its international fanbase will probably be glad to see the back of Max Mosley, one is left with the distinct impression that we’ll be feeling his legacy for years to come, if not longer.