MEP wants more detail from FIA on financial ties to F1 sale

British MEP Anneliese Dodds has asked the FIA to give more detail on why it accepted payments following the completion of Formula 1's sale to Liberty Media

MEP wants more detail from FIA on financial ties to F1 sale

Motorsport's governing body gave its approval for the sale of F1 to Liberty Media last month, paving the way for the deal to be completed.

There has since been suggestions of a conflict of interest, given the FIA stood to gain in any sale, based on owning a 1% stake in F1.

Dodds, whose South East of England constituency includes several F1 teams, has long campaigned for an investigation into anti-competition practices in F1, with European parliament recently throwing its support behind the MEP.

But last week, the FIA moved to counter what it believes is "inaccurately informed" or "malicious" questioning of its role in approving Liberty Media's takeover.

In response, Dodds has written an open letter to explain her stance.

"While I appreciate the FIA's attempt to clarify its position, I would welcome a more detailed outline of the reasoning behind its acceptance of these payments," she said.

"I am certain that any transparency the FIA can provide on the European parliament's concerns would help to ease concerns shared by fans of the sport.

Why talk of foul play in F1 sale is wrong

"As I see it, there are two key instances where such a conflict of interest could have arisen.

"The first is the $5m 'signing bonus' that the FIA received from Formula 1 during the establishment of the sport's 'Strategy Group'.

"The second and more concerning instance, relates to the FIA's purchase of a 1% stake in Formula 1 for a cut-price deal of $458,197.34.

"As that stake was worth $80m only four years later, I feel that either Formula 1 seriously undervalue their business, or some other factor was involved.

"As an MEP who works closely in scrutinising the financial services sector, if I saw the Financial Conduct Authority take a 1% stake in Barclays, I would be incredibly alarmed.

"Any decision that the FCA took that could have even an indirect impact on Barclays would affect its share price and therefore any current or future financial gain from that stake.

"I don't understand how these concerns are 'malicious' and I feel they should be treated seriously, as does the European parliament."

Dodds also clarified that not all of her "wider concerns in the governance of Formula 1 are related to the regulator" nor is she "accusing any individual or organisation of wrongdoing".

She added: "I am articulating the concerns of my constituents in the south east, the businesses based there and the highly skilled workers who are losing their jobs due to what they see as inherent faults in a much loved sport and industry.

"Last month, Manor Racing became the latest team in my constituency to collapse.

"It is my job as their elected representative to ask questions on their behalf."

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