Teams lodge EU complaint over F1 finances

Force India and Sauber F1 are seeking guidance from the European Union regarding Formula 1's payment structure

Force India and Sauber F1 are seeking action from the European Union regarding Formula 1’s payment structure

Complaints by the Force India and Sauber Formula 1 outfits lodged with the European Union have put the way revenue is distributed between teams under fresh scrutiny.

The formal complaint to the EU Competition Commission targets F1’s owners CVC Capital Partners regarding a perceived unfair financial bias towards Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull and Williams.

The five aforementioned teams receive bonus payments on top of the prize money received from their placement in the Constructors’ Championship.

Last year these annual payments reached $352 million (AUD).

Force India has confirmed through a prepared statement that a complaint has been submitted.

“Sahara Force India is one of two teams to have registered a complaint with the European Union questioning the governance of Formula 1 and showing that the system of dividing revenues and determining how Formula 1 rules are set is both unfair and unlawful,” read the team statement.

“Due to the ongoing legal discussions, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

The move comes a year after European Parliament member Anneliese Dodds, from the British Labour Party, contacted the European Competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, regarding the way F1 is governed.

Approaching the commission following the demise of the Caterham F1 team, Dodds was told an official complaint would be required before a possible investigation could be launched.

With a compliant now lodged, an investigation into the matter could force F1 to make alterations to the current payment structure.

The sport could also be hit with a fine equating to 10 percent of its turnover, which last year was $2.3 billion (AUD).

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