EU Commission acknowledge Sauber/Force India’s complaint about F1


There are a number of misconceptions being reported about the recent complaint made by Sauber and Force India to the EU commission and its eventual outcome. AMuS is reporting that the Commission has confirmed its receipt of the complaint and is now waiting for FOM’s response. A deadline has been set for Ecclestone’s counter view of the complaint, and Force India’s Bob Fernley believes, “If everything goes well, we could get an answer by Christmas”.

However, the answer will not be whether the complaint has been upheld or dismissed, but whether the EU is prepared to begin an investigation into Formula One, which would be a lengthy process. However, Fernley is bullish that a decision to investigate will precipitate immediate action from Bernie Ecclestone.

“Experience shows us that people like to avoid a lengthy investigation,” says Fernley, “because it interferes with business.” The implication is that Ecclestone will swing into action and deliver an equitable solution over the current unfair distribution of F1 revenues among the teams.

AMuS believes that this would precipitate a repayment from the larger teams of disputed bonus/historic/manufacturer incremental payments. However, this is highly improbable because it is not the teams who may have ‘abused a dominant position’ but Ecclestone and FOM.

On the matter of restitution, Fernley observes:  “Whatever is wrong now and in the future was also wrong in the past.” And it will be the responsibility of FOM and Ecclestone to redress the historic in balance with back payments to the marginalised smaller teams. These numbers could be very large indeed and stretch beyond the hundreds of millions into billions depending on how far back the ‘abuse’ is agreed to have occurred.

6 responses to “EU Commission acknowledge Sauber/Force India’s complaint about F1

  1. To me this would sound more like Bob trying to raise the sale price for Force India.
    Didn’t Vijay suggest he was open to offers when Renault where doing their ‘due diligence’ on options to return as a team earlier on in the year?

    Honest, we’ve a windfall on the way – once in a lifetime opportunity to invest!

  2. I’m wondering if CVC will still be holding out for that $12b asking price with this hanging over their heads?

    And it’s for this reason why I found Bernie’s comments that a deal could be agreed by December to be a load crap. With the possibility of a hefty payout if they’re indeed found to be breaking the rules, it’s only a fool who would negotiate a deal now.

  3. Perhaps BE’s solution will be to organise the surreptitious delivery of brown paper bags to targeted individuals.

    I’d be staggered if he hasn’t been wining / dining key personages already to ensure the case is assigned to a sympathetic judge (that’s not you TJ).

  4. At the very best (or worst depending on your POV) all the EU will do regarding THOSE payments is order a cease and desist.
    There will be no turn back of monies paid to the fortunate required and no extra cash flowing to those teams that weren’t on the gravy train.

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