European Commission to investigate F1 Strategy Group?

FIA President Jean Todt

We'll have an article out this week, explaining the relationship between the FIA and Formula One Strategy Group, that will help explain this in a little more detail.

However, the European Commission, which is the executive body of the European Union may soon be investigating F1 Strategy Group for anti-competition practices. Of course, the financial difficulties of Formula One's smaller teams during the 2014 season has been well-documented. However, other constituencies have apparently been effected by recent changes in F1, with a number of manufacturing groups in England feeling the financial effects.

Recently, British European Parliament member Anneliese Dodds has written the EC regarding the matter.

Central to Dodds' grievance is the fact that the FIA, which is supposed to be the governing body of the sport, surrendered voting power in the recent Concorde Agreement to Formula One Management in exchange for an equity stake in the vast Formula One empire. For $460,000, the FIA acquired a 1% stake in Formula One's parent company, Delta Topco Ltd. Reports suggest that 1% of Delta Topco could be worth north of $60 million. The debt-ridden FIA also received a one-time $5 million payment from FOM.

The FIA now holds six voting seats on F1 Strategy Group, with six held by FOM, and six held by F1 teams. And recently, F1 Strategy Group voted to not adopt a $200 million cost cap that the FIA's World Motorsport Council enacted.

Further, many of F1's smaller teams, who have no voting power in the Strategy Group, have reportedly met with the Commission regarding the matter.

And while there is no formal charge, or even investigation as yet, it appears that the financial mess of 2014, may only be a precursor to choppier waters in 2015.

AR1 Staff Report

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