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Formula 1

Why F1 owner won't be 'stunned' by team demands in Concorde talks

The Concorde Agreement is currently being discussed ahead of its renewal ahead of the 2026 season.

To news overview © XPBimages

Liberty Media chief Greg Maffei has explained why he will not be "stunned" if Formula 1 teams demand more money during Concorde Agreement talks. 

The document which outlines F1 prize money and commercial frameworks is up for renewal ahead of the 2026 season, with talks already firmly underway. 

It is the second Concorde negotiated under Liberty's ownership of F1, with the current agreement being signed in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time during which some teams were struggling to stay afloat.

However, the strong growth enjoyed by F1 and all 10 teams since have ensured that is not the case this time around, with all squads in rude financial health - with Maffei expecting tough negotiations with the teams.

"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 whilst speaking on a podcast interview with James Allen.

"This is an open process. The teams are making a lot more money, [there is more] growth and sponsors, and that excitement that 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. 

"But 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.

"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."

Expanding the calendar

Under Liberty's ownership, the calendar has grown to 24 grands prix and six sprint events, with Domenicali suggesting that it was feasible F1 could even go to 30 races such is the demand, although he ruled it out as a possibility.

Calendar growth has been something of a concern to drivers, teams and personnel, with staff being forced to rotate through the year, with triple-headers and more back-to-back races becoming common. 

Maffei elaborated on F1's plans in south-east Asia, and why it will not go above 24 races.

"We had a great race in China this year. I think there's an opportunity in south-east Asia," said.

"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. 

"So we're 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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