Ecclestone on EU complaint: "I don't run a cartel"

Bernie Ecclestone insists he is not worried by the possibility of a European Commission investigation into Formula 1 affairs, despite teams involved saying their complaint is against him.

Sauber and Force India have asked the EU to investigate whether F1's governance structure and prize fund structure are in beach of anti-competition law.

But Ecclestone, who could be forced to agree new commercial contracts with teams if the current ones are deemed illegal, is defiant about the situation.

When asked in Russia if he was worried about the EU, he said: "Not at all, I'm not running a cartel."

He also questioned whether there would be a way of changing contracts that were in place with teams.

"I don't know, we have to see. See what the European Commission think," he said. "[The teams] have got contracts haven't they? I don't imagine that anyone will make them break contracts."

Complaint against Ecclestone

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has made it clear, however, that the unhappiness with what is going on in F1 is focused on Ecclestone and not rival teams.

"This complaint is against the commercial rights holder," she said. "It is not against any team."

She added: "We are one of the two teams which have submitted this formal complaint to the European Commission for violations of European competition law, by which we are challenging the rule making powers and privileges given to certain teams and we feel this harms the sport.

"So, basically, we have asked the Commission to look into the abuse of dominance which arises from the way privileges are granted to certain teams – be that in terms of rule making or revenue stream."

Kaltenborn believes that the EU should investigate because the situation of bonus payments to teams, and having only certain outfits decide the rules, was damaging to the sport.

"It is not about individual teams. For us the most important part is that we believe through this rule making and through these privileges, the sport is being harmed and that is what we are looking at."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news
Tags ecclestone