MEP says it's up to Formula 1 teams to push for EU Commission probe

Formula 1 teams must lodge a formal complaint with the European Union if they want an investigation into how the championship is run to take place, says a Labour MEP

MEP says it's up to Formula 1 teams to push for EU Commission probe

Anneliese Dodds wrote to EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager earlier this year to outline her concerns that the series could be in breach of EU law after Marussia and Caterham, both in her constituency, went into administration.

Last month, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone dismissed the threat of an investigation forcing a shake-up of F1's payment structure and bringing a heavy fine.

DIETER RENCKEN on the chances of the EU investigating F1

While on a visit to Force India's factory on Friday, Dodds raised her concerns once more but conceded that progress now relies on the teams making their voices heard.

"The Commissioner in charge has made it clear to me that she can't do anything until the teams themselves submit a formal complaint," she said.

"And so if that's what the teams feel is right then that is what they should do.

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

"This doesn't just mean two fewer teams taking part in races throughout the season; it means 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.

"At Force India today I saw 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."

FERRARI CHIEF THINKS PROBE UNLIKELY

Other F1 figures remain sceptical about the chance of an investigation progressing.

When Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne was asked if he was worried about a potential EU probe, he said: "No, I think we need to be careful.

"These things are incredibly clear deals, they are evident and they have been publicised.

"I'm a lawyer by training and I really see very limited scope for Commission intervention.

"If it happens, we'll deal with it but I doubt very much that it will go very far."

The current structure's revenue distribution is slanted heavily in favour of F1's big teams.

As revealed by AUTOSPORT, Ferrari received more money than any other team for the 2014 season, despite only finishing fourth in the constructors' championship.

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