F1’s Carey gets Sauber, Force India EU investigation off table

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/F1

In a joint release by Sahara Force India and Alfa Romeo Sauber F1, both teams have decided to drop the complaint they had lodged with the European Commission back in 2015. The complaint was centered around the fair and equitable distribution of prize money that currently is heavily weighted to Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren and Williams.

The teams were not happy with the payment structure and labeled it as “unfair and unlawful”. IT seems with new owners of F1, the teams now find Liberty Media a more agreeable partner:

Joint release by Sahara Force India and the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team:

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.

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.

It’s good news that Chase Carey can take this issue off his “to-do” list of litigious battles and that he’s been willing to engage the smaller teams on the grounds of a possible payment restructure and that is more equitable for them.

I am curious how Chase will achieve this as the big teams are contractually due these special payments. Certainly there is a pot of money with revenue generated by race sanctioning fees, broadcast rights and other revenue streams. The challenge is how this is all divided up between teams and Formula One Management. F1’s new owners are keen to spend more on marketing with events like London Live and other fan-centered concepts and this costs money reducing profit.

Then there is the concept of the big teams losing these special payments. How will they react to losing the lion’s share based upon the amount they spend in the sport and their legacy? I don’t envy Chase’s job but I have to say kudos to him for getting this lengthy and litigious issue off the table.

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sunny stivala

“F1’S Carey gets Sauber, Force India EU investigation off table”. Unless one is already believing that because the commercial rights of formula1 have changed hands to American new owners and formula1 racing is now an American racing system only and so American rules/regulations and system only apply, one does better understand how EU rules/regulations and systems function and actually work. Normally the EU does nothing until it is prodded into action by being asked to take action (as was the case here). Once they have started an action (investigating the complaint) it can’t be stopped investigating by complainant or anybody… Read more »

sunny stivala

I read and understood all you said, yes Sauber and Force India took the complaint off the table but that doesn’t mean that they took the complaint off the EU table. And as for liberty, Liberty bought the commercial rights of F1 with all that comes with it at time of buying.

sunny stivala

Some time ago but recently when the FIA announced what the new commercial rights holders wanted the F1 engines to be like for 2021 many rubbed their hands believing that the FIA was in agreement with what Liberty was pushing for, or that it meant it was what the FIA wanted just because they were announcing it. Now once again some seems to believe that Sauber and Force India removing their prize money complaint from Liberty’s table (but not from the EU table), they had made some sort of contribution to Liberty’s fighting armor when in fact Sauber and Force… Read more »

sunny stivala

Same line of thinking there, but who bought out the other part?

sunny stivala

NC, recently I read someone saying “we are one hundred percent behind them”, I am sure that you read it too. Now with this here latest maneuver we have no doubt that what was said was really meant.


An article at pitpass puts a ‘Marchionne-vellian’ spin on Alfa-ber’s decision to withdraw the complaint.
If they are right it, this is an indicator of the level of politicking that is at play in F1.
As Sunny questions below, the pitpass theory wouldn’t explain why Force India also withdrew, but its a great conspiracy theory.

sunny stivala

I have no doubt whatsoever of how “high and tense” the level of politicking is at present in F1. F1’s power strggle fights, of which I have lived them all, always where. As to why the pitpass (spot-on) theory stopped halfway through it is easy for an old gezer like me to understand, (FERRARI is involved, but the others are one of ours). Being able to follow follow the goings-on in different languages and in different countrys helps a lot to understand things a bit better.


I see this as good news for future negotiations with the teams (ok, probably not the top ones, but the majority). I think this is a way for Alfber and Force India to signal they are open to negotiations.

sunny stivala

Trying hard but is a tough language to learn “Der er ingen ko pa isen”.


‘There is no cow on the ice’ – words to live by Sunny.
Though I suspect for Chase, Shaun and Ross, they can hear the herd edging towards the L.M pond

sunny stivala

Providing a pond for a herd to drink from is only one of the two things that can keep the herd alive.


That’s what they teach at the Marchionne school of business.
Look out Chase!