After months of wrangling and political bickering, Formula One's governing body, the commercial rights holder and all the teams taking part in next year's championship apart from BMW Sauber have finally signed the 2009 Concorde Agreement. The Concorde Agreement - which determines how Formula 1 is run and how the revenues are distributed - was last signed in 1998, and that agreement expired in 2007. The new 2009 agreement promises a renewed period of stability in the sport, with stable technical and sporting regulations, at least until 31 December 2012.
The FIA released a statement on Saturday morning stating that following the approval from the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC), FIA President Max Mosley signed the 2009 Concorde Agreement on Friday night and thus securing the future of Formula 1.
After the FIA and the teams came to agree on a slightly revised set of technical and sporting regulations to apply from next year onwards, these changes in the published regulations have now been approved by the WMSC. The FIA said that instead of a fixed compulsory budget cap, the teams have agreed to enter a resource restriction agreement that aims to bring down costs to the 1990's levels.
The FIA statement also read: "The new Concorde Agreement, which runs until 31 December 2012, provides for a continuation of the procedures in the 1998 Concorde Agreement, with decisions taken by working groups and commissions, upon which all teams have voting rights, before going to the WMSC for ratification."
BMW Sauber, who this week announced their departure from Formula 1 at the end of the current season, have been given until Wednesday 5 August to sign the agreement should they elect to stay in the sport in 2010 and beyond.
In layman's terms, the signing of the 2009 Concorde Agreement basically means that all of the teams will now stay in Formula 1 at least until 2012, and that all stakeholders will have to follow set procedures and guidelines every step of the way. That means changes in regulations, for instance, can only come after consultation with the teams and as recommended by the working groups. So hopefully, at least for the time being, we do not have to see any more of the politics that has been dominating motorsport headlines for most of the first half of this year. Although, like I always say, the next round of political rows is never too far away in Formula 1 unfortunately, but until then we just want to enjoy some pure Grand Prix racing.
The Championship is set to go down to the wire this season as any one of Jenson Button, Mark Webber or Sebastian Vettel can end up winning the Drivers' World Championship. As far as the Constructors' World Championship go, instead of the usual Ferrari versus McLaren fight, we will be seeing BrawnGP and Red Bull Racing fight it out until the last race of the season for the title. That is what proper Formula One racing should be about anyway!
Until next time, drive safely everyone!