Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn insists that the Swiss team remains focused on its on-track performance and will not be side-tracked by the ongoing wrangling over the next edition of the Concorde Agreement.
Despite various claims from F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone that all twelve teams have agreed terms on an extension to the document that governs the sport [see story here
], there still appear to be some sticking points preventing it from being completely signed off, but Kaltenborn maintains that that is nothing new.
"I am very relaxed," she told the official F1 website, "Of course, it would be better having these things sorted out, as we definitely do have other priorities - namely to deliver good races - [but] my relaxed manner stems from the fact that we've seen situations like this before. Just look at the last Concorde Agreement.... In the end, a consensus has always been found and life goes on, the show goes on."
The confidential Agreement between Ecclestone's Formula One Management and the teams divides up the commercial revenues of the sport, including television rights and prize money, as well as specifying the future direction of technical regulations, but, while the only female CEO in F1 insisted that she had no doubt that the matter would be resolved, she admitted that it would be nice if it could be completed with vested interests getting in the way as, in her opinion, there were bigger issues facing the sport.
Sources have revealed that most - if not all - teams have
agreed to sign up to F1 through to 2020, and will share £115m for doing so. While the sport's annual prize fund will remain at 47.5 per cent of its profits, a series of new bonuses will see an extra 7.5 per cent being shared between the top three teams from the past three years, plus five per cent extra for Ferrari, which continues to benefit from its long relationship with the category. Discussions have also suggested that the calendar could be expanded to as many as 23 races in the next couple of years.
"It would be great if the matter could be solved without hoopla - we all know what we want: we all want to compete here," she pointed out, "So it would make a lot of sense to solve it, put it in the drawer and do what we are here for - racing.
"Stability is a huge asset. We are facing so many obstacles - together with the rights holder - that we have to solve. We see competition from other sporting series, we see that some tracks are running into problems, so we venture out to new destinations; but we also see that there are some tracks who make the heritage of F1, so we have to find the right balance. And we definitely cannot expect the commercial rights holder to be pulling rabbits out of a hat to satisfy our financial needs. We have to move closer and get things sorted out together, because this is not the land of plenty. We have to meet the challenges of the global economic situation."
As well as tailoring the sport to the current economic climate, however, Kaltenborn also spared a thought for fans, particularly those not so immersed in the sport to understand the various technical changes that seem to be argued over year after year.
"We have to see that the complex rules and standards are a slimmed down a bit to make them more understandable," she maintained, "It is not good - neither for the teams nor the fans - that regulations are changed almost on a yearly basis. But, as I just said, I believe in consensus, so there will be an agreement - anything else would be damaging for the sport!"