EU initiative lies with teams, says MEP


Anneliese Dodds, Labour MEP for the South East England region, has today visited Force India's Silverstone HQ.

In November, just months into her new role, Dodds wrote to the European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, calling on her to investigate two questionable moves made by the FIA.

The first was the FIA's acceptance of a 1% stake in the F1 Group which runs F1, a deal that could be worth as much as $120m should CVC, which controls the F1 Group, successfully reach its $12bn target when selling the business. The second concerning the formation of the Strategy Group, which the FIA agreed to in return for a payment of $40m.

Dodds called on the European competition commissioner to "look into this possible breach of competition rules as a matter of urgency and take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the undertakings made by the FIA are being observed as originally intended."

However, Vestager made it clear that the matter cannot be investigated unless an official complaint is submitted by the teams unhappy with the FIA's actions.

In a statement issued following her visit to Force India, Dodds reiterated the need for F1's small teams to act if they want the investigation to begin.

"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. "It didn't just mean two fewer teams taking part in races throughout the season. It meant 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."

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Published: 10/07/2015
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