F1 facing EU investigation after Sauber, Force India complaint

Formula 1's governance structure and prize money system is set to be investigated by the European Union, after Sauber and Force India lodged an official complaint on anti-competition grounds.

F1 facing EU investigation after Sauber, Force India complaint
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
Felipe Nasr, Sauber C34
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-30
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C34
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM08

Following months of speculation that teams could go to the EU over their belief F1 was being run like a cartel, the two outfits have gone ahead and registered their unhappiness.

The move is believed to be aimed at several key issues, including that only the big teams have a say in F1's Strategy Group and that the prize money structure is weighted heavily in favour of the front-running outfits.

A statement from Force India said: "Sahara Force India is one of two teams to have registered a complaint with the European Union questioning the governance of Formula 1 and showing that the system of dividing revenues and determining how Formula 1's rules are set is both unfair and unlawful.

"Due to the ongoing legal discussions, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

EU could force change

If the EU decides that Force India and Sauber's complaints are justified then it could intervene and force changes in the sport.

That could have dramatic implications for its owners as well as all teams.

A few months ago, Labour MEP Anneliese Dodds, who herself wrote to European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager last year, said that it was up to the teams to force an EU investigation.

"Ever since the collapse of Marussia and Caterham last year, I have had real concerns about the way things are going with Formula 1," she said.

"This doesn't just mean two fewer teams taking part in races throughout the season; it means hundreds of highly skilled people in my constituency losing their jobs and their livelihoods.

"That's why I've raised this issue a number of times in Brussels, to see if there is a competition case to answer here.

"The Commissioner in charge has made it clear to me that she can't do anything until the teams themselves submit a formal complaint, and so if that's what the teams feel is right then that is what they should do."

shares
comments
Raikkonen: Ferrari surprised by form
Previous article

Raikkonen: Ferrari surprised by form

Next article

Mercedes still fears repeat of Singapore nightmare

Mercedes still fears repeat of Singapore nightmare
Load comments
How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle Prime

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021