Anneliese Dodds MEP

The South East's Voice in Europe

F1 needs to play fair

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Anneliese today visited F1 racing team Force India as tensions mount regarding the ongoing viability of the sport as a meaningful competition.

Anneliese's visit came a few months after she wrote to Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner with responsibility for competition, expressing her worry that developments in Formula 1 might potentially be in breach of EU law.

Anneliese was prompted to write to Commissioner Vestager after two of the smaller Formula 1 teams, Marussia and Caterham, went into administration in 2014.  Both teams were based in Anneliese's constituency of South East England. 

At the time, many felt that the teams were forced into administration because of the uneven way in which money was distributed within the sport - a situation seemingly compounded by Formula 1's governance arrangements. The urgency of the situation was highlighted again this week with news that Lotus is facing a winding-up petition in the High Court.

Speaking about her visit, Anneliese said: "Ever since the collapse of Marussia and Caterham last year, I have had real concerns about the way things are going with Formula 1.  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."

She added: "I've seen here today at Force India just what a great role Formula 1 can play in creating the kind of high-quality jobs in science and engineering that we want to see much more of as a country.  We simply cannot afford to lose those kinds of jobs."

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