A major German daily has cast doubt on Bernie Ecclestone’s claim that every team has now signed up for the 2013 Concorde Agreement.
The F1 chief executive said earlier this month that there is now “total agreement” with regards to the way forward in light of the sport’s expiring commercial deal with the competing teams and the governing FIA.
“We are just talking to the lawyers … ‘why have you used this word, that word’. Typical lawyers but everything’s fine,” said Ecclestone. “Commercially it’s done,” he told the Daily Mail on July 6.
But German specialist magazine Auto Motor und Sport reported this week that the Jean Todt-led federation has in fact not yet agreed to the currently tripartite deal. And it seems Ecclestone’s dispute with Mercedes-Benz – the supplier of engines to three formula one teams including McLaren, and also owner of its own bespoke works team – might also be ongoing.
That is the claim of Die Welt newspaper, reporting on Thursday that the risk remains that F1 is “without Mercedes” next year.
When asked, the German marque’s Norbert Haug said only that Mercedes is in “constructive talks”.
Die Welt went further, claiming that Niki Lauda, the legendary triple world champion and always-present F1 insider, has been engaged by Mercedes to advise and negotiate with Ecclestone. The newspaper said Mercedes “is reluctant” to commit to F1 for the full term of Ecclestone’s new 2013-2020 Concorde.