Rivals "up the a**e" of Formula 1 over new commercial deal - Wolff
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has described rival Formula 1 team bosses as being "up the a**e of the commercial rights holder" when publicly discussing the signing of a new Concorde Agreement.
Negotiations have been ongoing for a considerable period of time between F1, the FIA and the 10 teams over the latest tri-partite deal that binds all parties to the sport on a commercial rights basis.
The likes of Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto and McLaren CEO Zak Brown have both indicated they are ready to put pen to paper.
Wolff has again insisted that from the perspective of his team, there are a number of issues outstanding, and has criticised his counterparts for the different public and private pronouncements.
"Some of these guys, when they come on camera they are up the arse of the commercial rights holder, and then when we have the meeting they are revved up and they are the loudest," Wolff said to Sky Sports F1. “I guess it’s about manning up and expressing your opinion.
“We love this sport. We have core objectives that we share with Liberty and the FIA. We all want to stay in this for the best of the sport.”
Speaking during the FIA press conference earlier on Friday that involved six of the 10 team principals, Wolff outlined the concerns of Mercedes.
"We from Mercedes made it very clear that we are happy with a more equitable split of the prize fund, the way success is rewarded, and for everybody, we agreed to," said Wolff.
"[But] 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 balances out with Toro Rosso [sic - AlphaTauri]. So it’s us that are hurt the most.
"I feel Mercedes has contributed to the sport over the last years. Apart from being competitive on track, we have the driver that has clearly the most global appeal.
"We feel that whilst being in those negotiations, we weren’t treated in the way we should have been.
"Therefore, there are 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."
As to how far away Mercedes is, and with a deadline looming of later this month, Wolff said: "That depends on the other side.
"If you are willing to sit at a table, address the critical topics, discuss them, come to a compromise outcome, then it can go pretty fast. But I haven’t seen that approach."
From the perspective of his rivals, Binotto said: "As Ferrari, I think our role has been recognised, which for us is quite important. Overall, we are ready to sign, so it’s clearly waiting for it and quite excited."
Brown added: "McLaren’s in the same position as Ferrari. We’ve all been negotiating this for some time. We’re ready to sign. We’ll be able to hit the August 12 deadline.
"Some very small dotting the I’s, crossing the T’s but all the fundamentals are there and I’m really excited for the future of Formula 1."
Deputy team principal Claire Williams echoed the sentiments of Binotto and Brown, adding: "You’ve got the triple, you’ve got the three most historic teams in Formula 1 ready to sign the Concorde Agreement.
"We’ve got some minor legal issues to resolve, but we would be ready to sign it to meet the deadline."
Seemingly dismissing Wolff's remarks, F1 has made clear it is ready to move on, even if that does not include Mercedes.
"Formula 1 has engaged with all the teams in a collaborative and constructive way and listened to all their views," it said.
"This agreement is for the future of the sport and all our fans. We are moving forward with this and will not be delayed any longer."
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