Labour MEP Anneliese Dodds today visited Force India. Dodd, it will be remembered, wrote to Margrethe Vestager, the European Competition Commissioner expressing her worry that Formula 1 might be in breach of EU law. She did this after Marussia and Caterham, both in her South East England constituency, went into administration in 2014. Many believe that this happened because of the uneven way in which money was distributed within the sport – a situation seemingly compounded by Formula 1’s governance arrangements.
“Ever since the collapse of Marussia and Caterham last year, I have had real concerns about the way things are going with Formula 1,” Dodds said in a statement after her visit. “It didn’t just mean two fewer teams taking part in races throughout the season. It meant hundreds of highly skilled people in my constituency losing their jobs and their livelihoods. That’s why I’ve raised this issue a number of times in Brussels, to see if there is a competition case to answer here. The Commissioner in charge has made it clear to me that she can’t do anything until the teams themselves submit a formal complaint, and so if that’s what the teams feel is right then that is what they should do.”
The ball is this squarely – and publicly – in the court of the small teams.