F1 "no longer a fair competition" - Sauber

Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn says Formula 1's current financial and governance structure has led to a sport that is "no longer fair competition".

F1 "no longer a fair competition" - Sauber
Felipe Nasr, Sauber C35 leads team mate Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C35
Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber Team Principal
Felipe Nasr, Sauber C35 with a blown engine during qualifying
Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber Team Principal
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber F1 Team C35
Felipe Nasr, Sauber F1 Team
Felipe Nasr, Sauber F1 Team C35 and Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C35

Sauber and rival Force India lodged an official complaint on anti-competition grounds last year, leading to the European Union investigating the sport's governance structure and prize money system.

Kaltenborn admits it is frustrating to see that nothing has been done about what she thinks is an unfair revenue distribution scheme, as teams like hers struggle for survival.

"That is indeed a bit disappointing, because we have such a fantastic sport," Kaltenborn told Motorsport.com.

"We have a fantastic product, and controversies are part of our product that also makes it exciting. Otherwise it would actually be quite boring.

"It doesn't take much to change it in our sport, so it was of course frustrating because we really tried - Force India and ourselves - to talk to the stakeholders and try to get them to change something."

Kaltenborn reckons that the fact that leading teams not only get a bigger share of the revenues, but are also involved in the rule-making process makes the competition unjust.

"Everyone knows how this deals were done and the worse part about it is not that you want to change something just because you don't like it anymore, it is having a massive impact on our competition, and that's the thing we are saying," she said.

"It's leading to a competition which is no longer a fair competition.

"It has to do with these privileges certain teams get in terms of rule-making and in terms of the commercial distribution.

"And if that reaches a point where it has an effect on the competition, that is something we are fighting against."

The Sauber boss believes that, under the current structure, even if her team was among the frontrunners, it would not be benefit from the same financial conditions as other squads.

"All we want is a level playing field. Then it's up to you," Kaltenborn added.

"You are good, you are bad, that's your doing, but today even a team like Force India or ourselves, and a couple of others actually, were to let's say, be in the top three, we could never get that kind of income.

"We could never have certain rule-making powers that other teams have irrespective of where they are, and that cannot be right."

The Swiss team has been surrounded by speculation about its future this year amid reports of financial problems, but Kaltenborn insists that the situation will be sorted, even if it takes time.

"We have been focused on a way to overcome our situation, and these things take time," she said.

"Unfortunately nothing happens overnight. Some ways go quicker, some ways take longer, so we are pursuing our way. Nothing has changed on that.

"You might have some other issues in a certain period of the year which you have to sort out immediately, but I don't think you can say it's become worse or whatever. I think it's more a media thing rather than what's going on."

Interview by Oleg Karpov

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