The FIA have offered a statement regarding the recent announcement that the EU would be looking closely at the recent sale of Formula 1 to Liberty Media as well as the prize money distribution model in the auspices of anti-trust or competition.
We discussed the situation as reported by Forbes here and it must be relatively serious if the FIA felt compelled to comment on the proceedings. They did take note to distance themselves from any of the prize money issues the EU may be looking at and that’s actually correct as this agreement is between Formula One Group and the teams individually. However, they did gain a substantial payout for their 1% ownership and that is what they address. Here is the the FIA said in full:
In light of this, the FIA wishes to make clear the following once again:
- Firstly, the prize money allocated in the Formula One World Championship is done so in accordance with the bilateral agreements that exist between each team and the Commercial Rights Holder (CRH). The FIA has no knowledge of these agreements
- Secondly, there is no conflict of interest on the part of the FIA with regard to its approval of the change of control of the CRH which has been approved by the World Motor Sport Council taking into consideration exclusively the terms of the existing agreements between the CRH and the FIA and the best interests of the Championship
- As per the Agreements made in 2001 for 100 Years, the FIA could only have withheld its consent in the event that the change of control would materially alter the ability of the CRH to fulfil its obligations; it is obvious that the taking of control of the Formula One Group by Liberty does not create such a risk, and nobody has ever suggested a different view in this respect
The FIA would naturally be happy to demonstrate the absence of any conflict of interest to any competent authority that may so request.
Once again, the FIA looks forward to its collaboration with both Liberty and the Formula One Group to create a constructive relationship that will ensure the continued success and the development of the FIA Formula One World Championship in the long term.