The European Union has been urged to act on a complaint from two teams that it may have violated competition rules.
Force India and Sauber confirmed last week they had formally complained to the EU about how F1 is being managed.
The EU’s Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager is now being urged by Labour MEP for the South-east Annaliese Dodds to act on the complaint.
“We have already seen the EU getting left behind as the US and Switzerland launched an investigation into FIFA,” said Dodds. “Following complaints within the sport of F1, the EU must take the lead on a sport loved by many across Europe.”
“We have already seen Caterham and Marussia, two Oxfordshire-based teams, being forced to close. In Caterham’s case, this involved the loss of many dozens of highly-skilled jobs. Lotus, also based in Oxfordshire, has also been in financial difficulties and is in the middle of a protracted take-over with Renault.”
In a letter to the commissioner this week, Dodds said the teams’ complaint indicates F1 may be in violation of Article 101 and Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
The teams have objected to the favourable financial terms and greater role in the rule-making process given to some teams. However Dodds also queried whether it was proper for the FIA, as F1’s regulator, to own shares in F1 Group.
“It is very unusual for a regulator to have a financial stake in what it is regulating,” said Dodds. “Recent developments are akin to the Food Standards Authority taking a stake in McDonalds, or the Health and Safety Executive buying up a factory.”