Nate Saunders discusses how Valtteri Bottas remaining at Mercedes another year affects George Russell. (2:01)
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has criticised some of his rival F1 team bosses for being “up the arse” of Formula One when discussing its new commercial agreement in public, only to speak negatively about it in private.
Mercedes and F1 are at loggerheads over the terms of the new deal, known in F1 as the Concorde Agreement, which will bind competitors to the championship beyond 2020. F1 is refusing to budge on its existing deadline of August 12 for its 10 teams to sign.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, Wolff claimed Ferrari would retain a financial bonus under the terms of the new deal. While committed to a more equal redistribution of the prize fund, Wolff is also concerned that would see Mercedes lose out more than a team like Red Bull, which has a sister team in Alpha Tauri.
A look ahead to Silverstone’s second F1 race in eight days and what Pirelli’s response to the British GP drama means for the weekend’s action.
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Wolff said he is the only person speaking out against the terms in public, which also determine how the sport is governed and how much say teams have in future regulations.
“Most of the teams, if not 90%, are of the opinion that it needs cleaning up, that there are clauses that are critical that needs to be discussed around governance and certain commercial aspects but we are not really able to engage,” Wolff told Sky Sports.
“Some of these guys when they come on camera they are up the arse of the commercial rights holder. Then when we have them in the meeting they are revved up and they are the loudest.
“So 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 with the FIA. We all want to stay in this for the best of the sport and it’s just about to discuss [it].”
In July Ferrari and McLaren both publicly announced their intention to sign it, comments Wolff labelled “ridiculous”.