Orrick Advises the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) in Negotiation of Formula 1 Concorde Agreements

August.24.2020

Version Française: Orrick Rambaud Martel a conseillé et assisté la Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) dans la négociation des Accords Concorde de Formule 1

Our Paris team advised the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) in the negotiation and finalization of the new 2021 Concorde Agreements that will rule the organization and operation of the Formula 1 World Championship, the supreme discipline of international automobile competitions.

After two years of extensive discussions and negotiation, the FIA, FOM and the 10 teams currently involved in the Championship announced on August 19 that they signed the new Concorde Agreements, which will rule the championship for the next five seasons. 

Created by the FIA 70 years ago, the Formula 1 World Championship has been ruled since 1981 by successive tripartite contracts between the FIA, owner and regulator of the Championship; Formula One Management-FOM, now a subsidiary of the Liberty Media Group, the promoter to which the commercial rights are granted; and the competing teams. Known as the Concorde Agreements, named after the location of the FIA headquarters in Paris, these complex contracts rule the operation of the Championship, the contractual relations between the FIA, the promoter and the teams, and organize the governance as well as the economic and commercial aspects of the Championship. They round off the Sporting, Technical and Financial Regulations of the Championship, which are issued by the FIA and constantly adapted by it to meet technological developments and the aims pursued.

The new 2021 Concorde Agreements, together with the evolution of the FIA Regulations, constitute an in-depth overhaul of the rules of the Championship. They aim to give new momentum and long-term stability the competition, taking into account evolving state legislation, environmental aspirations and economic constraints. They include a governance component, the Concorde Governance Agreement, along with a commercial component, the Concorde Commercial Agreement, which notably aims to reduce the financial and on track disparities between the teams, completing the new Financial Regulation by which a controlled limitation of the teams' expenditure will be applied from 2021.

The FIA was the first sporting federation to re-launch an international competition with the Austrian F1 Grand Prix at the beginning of July 2020, having established a strict regulatory and sanitary framework to achieve this immediately after the containment measures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic were lifted. With the signing of the Concorde Agreements and the evolutions made to its Regulations, the FIA is realizing the ambition of its President Jean Todt for a “more sustainable, fair and exciting competition at the pinnacle of motor sport.”

The Orrick team included Jean-Pierre Martel, Senior Partner of the Paris office, who has advised the FIA since 2009, and of counsel Dimitrie Ramniceanu.