Anneliese Dodds MEP

The South East's Voice in Europe

EU Must Investigate Formula 1's Competition Rules

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Anneliese Dodds MEP has called on the EU's Competition Commissioner to launch an investigation into competition rules within Formula 1.

Following a formal complaint to the EU from two F1 teams about alleged unfair competition rules, Anneliese has warned that F1 could become the next sport to suffer an integrity crisis.

Anneliese said "We have already seen the EU getting left behind as the US and Switzerland launched an investigation into FIFA. Following complaints within the sport of F1, the EU must take the lead on a sport loved by many across Europe".

Under rules introduced by the Group's hedge fund owners, Williams, Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes and McLaren all receive tens of millions of pounds every year regardless of where they finish on the track, a situation that is unfair to smaller teams, some of which are based in the UK.

"We have already seen Caterham and Marussia, two Oxfordshire-based teams, being forced to close. In Caterham's case, this involved the loss of many dozens of highly-skilled jobs. Lotus, also based in Oxfordshire, has also been in financial difficulties and is in the middle of a protracted take-over with Renault."

Compounding the problems that appear to exist within the sport, F1's regulatory body, the FIA, bought a 1% share in the F1 group for the cut price cost of £286,000. Those shares were estimated to be worth £74m last year.

Anneliese continued: "It is very unusual for a regulator to have a financial stake in what it is regulating. Recent developments are akin to the Food Standards Authority taking a stake in McDonalds, or the Health and Safety Executive buying up a factory."

Anneliese has written a letter to the Commissioner asking for an explanation of how the EU plans to respond to the formal complaints that they have received.

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