Force India, Sauber withdraw EU complaint

Date published: January 25 2018

Force India and Sauber have withdrawn their complaint against anti-competitive practices in the sport of Formula 1, saying they are “encouraged” by dialogue with Liberty Media.

In 2015, Force India and Sauber lodged a joint complaint with the European Union in which they questioned the governance of the sport, the division of revenue and the process in which rules were set, calling that “unfair and unlawful”.

Since then Formula 1 has fallen under new ownership with Liberty Media’s Chase Carey at the helm.

Stating that there is now more “transparency” and a “willingness to debate fundamental issues”, Force India and Sauber have withdrawn their complaint.

“We have decided to withdraw the complaint we lodged with the European Commission in 2015 on the subject of anti-competitive practices in the sport of Formula 1,” the teams said in a joint statement.

“We have been greatly encouraged by the dialogue that has been introduced following the appointment of Chase Carey as Executive Chairman and CEO of the Formula 1 commercial rights holder and his new management team.

“Their approach has brought a new culture of transparency to the sport and illustrates willingness to debate fundamental issues such as the distribution of the prize fund monies, cost control and engine regulations.

“We are encouraged and reassured by the even-handed and fair negotiating approach taken by the new management of Formula 1 to all the teams and their issues. While the concerns leading to the compliant were fully justified, we believe this new approach provides the necessary degree of assurance that our concerns will be looked at objectively, and we prefer to resolve the issues facing the sport through dialogue rather than a legal dispute.

“We want to support this transformational process in Formula 1 and thus have resolved to withdraw our complaint with immediate effect.”