Bernie Ecclestone responds to F1 teams' lodging EU complaint

Bernie Ecclestone does not blame Force India and Sauber for voicing their dissatisfaction with Formula 1 through an official complaint to the European Union

Bernie Ecclestone responds to F1 teams' lodging EU complaint

The teams have lodged a complaint to the EU competitions commission regarding F1's governance and payment structure, as negotiated by commercial rights holder Ecclestone and F1 owner CVC Capital Partners.

Frustrated at the additional handouts to Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull and Williams, the midfield organisations are hoping an EU investigation will lead to a shake up of F1, and ultimately result in a fairer distribution of revenues.

"We haven't discouraged or encouraged anybody to do anything," Ecclestone told AUTOSPORT.

"That's what the European Union is there for, for these sorts of things.

"They [the teams] must give it a go, and if they're successful it's good, and if not then it costs nothing."

If the EU decides to investigate and F1 is found culpable of an abuse of power in the way it handles its affairs, a fine of 10 per cent of turnover (which last year was £1.06billion) can be levied, as well as forcing a shake up of its structure.

Ecclestone remains unconcerned, and holds no ill feeling towards Force India and Sauber in their bid to compete on a more equal financial footing.

"The bottom line is, what they [the teams] are saying is we're giving too much money to some people and not enough to the others," added Ecclestone.

"But all this was done whereby everybody knew what they would be getting and what would happen, and they all signed contracts which were very clear.

"They've had a change of heart I suppose, and I don't blame them, not at all.

"Somebody will have a look at it and either decide the agreements they've signed are valid and they stick by them, or they're not valid and they have to be changed.

"From our point of view it won't make any difference at all."

The contracts referred to by Ecclestone are those signed by the teams in which it apparently makes clear the five major teams would receive premium payments, which were agreed upon by way of bilateral agreements signed in 2012.

Ecclestone has confirmed being fully informed by both teams ahead of the complaint being made, which allowed him to keep CVC chief executive Donald Mackenzie in the loop.

"I warned him this was going to happen, so he feels the same as me. He's not disappointed or annoyed," said Ecclestone.

"I knew when it was going to be announced. I was well informed by the people who are making the complaints, so it's OK. No dramas."

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