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F1 revolution: Europe assessing teams' complaint

2015-10-20 11:53

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Sauber chief Monisha Kaltenborn argues that non-privileged F1 teams were given take-it-or-leave-it proposals. Image: AP / Ros Land.

The risk of an investigation into Formula 1's structure by the European Commission is still hanging over the sport.

A spokesman confirmed to the Telegraph: "We have received a complaint and will assess it."

The complaint was lodged recently by Force India and Sauber, two financially-struggling midfield teams who bemoan the unfairness of Bernie Ecclestone's income distribution system and the rule-making strategy group.

Complaints within F1

It is being egged on by a senior European parliamentarian, Anneliese Dodds, who urges the Commission to intervene.

She told F1 business journalist Christian Sylt: "Following complaints within the sport of F1, the EU must take the lead on a sport loved by many across Europe."

The Telegraph report said there is a risk an investigation would put the brakes on the looming sale of the sport's commercial rights, but F1 supremo Ecclestone insists he is not worried.

Ecclestone said: "No.  For us, no. The payments we make to the teams, they are in contracts," Ecclestone added, "and everybody knows what everybody else is paid.  There's no secrets."

Is F1 anti-competitive?

Sauber chief Monisha Kaltenborn, however, argues that the 'non-privileged teams' were given take-it-or-leave-it proposals.

Asked if one solution would be to simply tear up those contracts and start again, Ecclestone told the German broadcaster ZDF in a joint interview with former FIA president Max Mosley this week: "If everybody agrees, yes.

"But no one will agree to take less money, and give it to another team. So I would say it's impossible.

"Unless there's a rule somewhere that it's anti-competitive. I understand some of the teams are complaining to the European Commission.

"But there are lots of things that are anti-competitive for the teams in formula one, so they've got a lot of complaints than just the amount of money.

"And if all of them - as Max just said - are on a level playing field, there should be no complaints.  They all then could do the same thing," said Ecclestone, referring to Mosley's proposal of a budget cap in F1.

Read more on:    sauber  |  bernie ecclestone  |  motorsport  |  formula 1

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