European Parliament set to investigate potentially anti-competitive F1

The European parliament has revealed it is in favour of investigating Formula One as an anti-competitive sport.

Sauber and Force India lodged a complaint to the EU regarding what they deemed unfair distribution of prize money back in 2015, although a formal enquiry has not yet begun.

Annaliese Dodds, a UK member of the European parliament, has been keen to push the European Union into investigating the sport.

A competition report was produced by the union in January to recommend the European Commission on what they should be investigating.

Dodds submitted in the report that an immediate investigation should take place into Formula One, which was passed by 467 votes to 156 with 86 abstentions.

This does not necessarily mean the EU must now begin its investigation, but Dodds has unmasked the internal support for an investigation into the sport.

“I’m happy that today the European Parliament backed my call for a full and immediate investigation into anti-competitive practices in Formula 1,” Dodds said.

“A few weeks ago Manor Racing became the latest team in the south east of England to collapse after administrators failed to find a buyer.

“Smaller teams are unfairly punished by an uncompetitive allocation of prize money that will always give the biggest teams more money, even if they finish last in every race.”

Dodds also raised the question of the FIA’s profit in the recent sale of Formula One to Liberty Media.

“There is also significant conflict of interest over the recent sale of the sport to Liberty Media, after the regulator received a $79.5million (£63.7m) profit from authorising the sale.”

“I have written a number of letters to the European Commission calling for a full investigation and I am grateful that the rest of the European Parliament has added its voice to this call.

“We must ensure that we don’t lose even more highly skilled jobs in this sector and allow a sport loved by 500million fans to become increasingly less competitive.”

If Formula One is found guilty by the European parliament of foul play in its governance and payments, a fine of ten per cent of turnover can be given; that figure was £1billion in 2016.

They can also force a restructure if they see fit.

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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One Comment

  1. Yeah sure. A bunch of bureaucrats with their panties in a twist over a sport that is already so encumbered by Euro-bureaucracy it can hardly move. This is not going to make the sport any better, it is just going to bury the story under a pile of horse droppings as these clowns argue about that which they have nothing to add, but are determined to influence.

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