Site logo

An historic day

NEWS STORY
01/05/2014

Biggin Hill, which played an integral role in Britain's defence during World War II, today plays host to another important battle.

The airport, on the London border with Surrey, played a vital role during the Battle of Britain, one of the principal bases for the fighter squadrons protecting London and the South-East from the might of Luftwaffe.

Today it will host a meeting of all eleven F1 teams, Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt, which could prove as vital to the future of the sport as the Battle of Britain was to the outcome of World War II.

It follows the FIA's decision to abandon its plans for a cost cap in 2015 and the subsequent claim by Sauber, Force India, Caterham and Marussia that such a cavalier move will cause increased financial difficulty and possibly drive them, and others, out of F1.

The FIA's scrapping of the cost cap followed a meeting of the F1 Strategy Group at which the bigger teams - including a couple who are also under financial threat - vetoed the proposal, self-interest once again throwing an almighty spanner in the works.

Since then, FIA president Todt has suggested that with the cost cap thrown out the best solution might be to limit spending through regulatory control but again this has caused a split between the teams.

In a letter to the FIA in April, following Todt's admission that plans for the cost cap had been abandoned, the four smaller teams - who only learned of the move via the media - wrote to the FIA president.

"The EU Commission addresses competition policy in the sporting market place by using certain criteria to acknowledge that sports businesses exhibit special characteristics that distinguish them from other generic businesses and as such special rules are allowed to apply that otherwise would not be acceptable under competition law. Formula One enjoys such a distinction in the way that it operates," they wrote.

"We believe that the actions of the F1 Strategy Group and its acceptance by the FIA and the CRH go against many of these special characteristics and brings into question the very basis of some of the rules of competition that are being relied upon by the sport."

As Pitpass revealed earlier this week, the four teams are on to something and would now appear to yield more power than they thought they had, as documentation (pdf) clearly reveals that the FIA's deal with Bernie Ecclestone appears to contravene EU rules.

With the sport having previously been in seriously hot water with the EU, at which time it ordered the FIA to end its 'association' with the commercial arm of the sport, nobody will want the Brussels lawyers looking into F1 again, not at a time when Ecclestone is on trial for bribery in Munich and CVC is still hoping to float the sport.

Suddenly this isn’t about the survival of the four smaller teams, should the EU get involved the repercussions could be more far reaching going all the way to the top of the sport.

All of which makes Biggin Hill the scene of yet another vital strategic battle.

Chris Balfe

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2014. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  terms  |  privacy & security  |  rss