Force India, Sauber lodge official EU complaint

The Sahara Force India team and the Sauber F1 Team have lodged an official complaint to the European Union competitions commission, stating unfair financial bias towards the five biggest teams in Formula 1.

The two teams are complaining about the payment structure within Formula 1 and the way the championship is governed, with F1 owners CVC Capital Partners seemingly favouring Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, Mercedes, McLaren and Williams.

The main concern for Force India and Sauber is the extra payments, said to be totalling more than $249million, which those five teams received on top of the prize money from the constructors’ championship.

“These unfair side payments put the independent teams at a perpetual sporting and economic disadvantage and directly harm the sport,” said the complaint by Force India and Sauber in documents to the EU, and reported by The Times.

“By locking in a permanent advantage for a select few teams, the sport has been gravely undermined.

“The beneficiaries have vastly more to spend on technology, development, research and equipment, creating an ever-wider performance gap and, effectively, pre-determining the outcome of the world championships.

“These unlawful practices hurt the sport, its participants and the many thousands of people in and around Formula 1, and the many millions of European fans.”

F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone is unfazed by the possible investigation by the EU, and suggested the two teams should have voice their concerns prior to signing their own contracts.