Force India and Sauber rescind “anti-competitive practices” complaints


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The Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula 1 Team and the Sahara Force India F1 Team have withdrawn their complaints to the European Commission over “anti-competitive practices” in Formula 1.

The issues were raised and brought forward in 2015 over the allocation of prize money, cost control and engine regulations in the sport.

But, in a joint statement released this morning, both Sauber and Force India said that they were “greatly encouraged” by the efforts of Liberty Media CEO Chase Carey, who assumed the role of executive chairman of the Formula One Group following the departure of Bernie Ecclestone at the end of 2016.

“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 statement read.

“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.”

After securing a second consecutive top four finish in the Constructors’ Championship at the Mexican Grand Prix, Auto Motor und Sport revealed that Force India’s entry fee for the 2018 season would increase by $5,161 for every point they scored in the remaining Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Sauber have also struggled for finances in the past few years, saved by edging out the now defunct Manor Racing team to take 10th place in the 2016 championship and crucial prize money.

However, with the situation now seemingly resolved, both parties are happy with the transparency and direction shown by the sport’s bosses – but stood by their original complaint.

“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,” they added.

“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.”