Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Singapore, 2015

Sauber expects more teams support EU complaint

2015 Russian Grand Prix

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Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn says the fact only two teams are involved in the complaint it has brought against F1 does not mean other teams do not support it.

Speaking during today’s FIA press conference Kaltenborn suggested other teams are in favour of the complaint but do not feel they can support it publicly at the moment.

Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber, Albert Park, 2015
“I don’t think anybody would not support it.”
“These talks amongst the non-privileged teams, if you can say that, have been going on for quite a while,” she said. “So they were always informed about it.”

“But it’s their decision not to sign it or not to support it at least at the moment. I don’t think there’s anybody out there who would not support it.”

“But they probably have to take a public position on that as well. We’ve always been transparent from our side, we’ve always told them where we stand and it’s entirely up to them and they’ll decide, I guess, when they want to join it or not and they’ll have their reasons for that.”

Kaltenborn says Sauber and Force India lodged the complaint with the EU “alleging violation of European competition law and we want to challenge the rule making powers and the privileges which together, in our view, harm the sport.”

“What we have basically requested or asked the Commission to do is to investigate why these, in our view, unfair terms regarding the voting rights, rule-making on one side and on the other side the distribution of revenue have been imposed,” she added.

“We have asked the Commission to as we see abuse of dominance arising from the way these privileges have been granted in these two areas. So we have our position on that, we don’t consider it to be fair. And based on that we have submitted our complaint which is, to be also clear about it, against the Commercial Rights Holder.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 7 comments on “Sauber expects more teams support EU complaint”

    1. Why not just sign a few more drivers to show us how “fair” contracts work? Don’t think Ecclestone will come to the rescue again though.

      1. Im curious, why do you have so much against this complaint to the EU? Its obvious the sport has problems in the rulemaking process and the distribution of income. It needs fixing, or you dont think so?

        1. Because the EU is what caused this “problem” to begin with!

          F1 has no problems that the EU can solve. People really need to think things trough in terms of possible outcomes. Not just let your knee jerk and rage out when they see the word “unfair”. What can the EU accomplish? What could they actually improve for F1 this time that they didn’t the last time?

          I see no scenario where F1 will get any better from the EU intervening. I only see how more damage can result from this.

          FIA was forced by the EU to sell the commercial rights and these ended up in the hands of a investment firm. They get half the income and the other half goes back to the teams. EU can do nothing about this. Companies can charge as much for their services as they want. The fact that the deal had to be done in a hurry meant a poor negotiating position for that sale too.

          These investors/managers then decide to spend some of their own half of the income to entice the popular teams to come/keep racing. “Unfair” maybe, but something the EU can change? I really don’t see how. Or they will have to charge Wimbledon for doing the same.

          Now they want to make sure FIA has even less to say about the money. Whatever that means, but sure give Ecclestone even more to say about that. Brilliant.

          All that so Kaltenborn can get her grubby fingers on a few more million. Like that is going to matter anyway.

          50% of the F1 commercial rights income goes back to the teams and it is actually divided ridiculously evenly. Mercedes got $92 million for being the champs and Sauber got $44 for not scoring a single point. How “fair” is that?

          But then that’s not what they complain about being unfair. It’s all about the bonus money some teams get and they don’t.

          The bonus money isn’t even coming from the money that would normally go to the teams anyway. If the EU puts a stop tot hat then the investors will simply keep it.

          But suppose they do all get a few million extra. Then what? Does that make the racing better? Does a few million extra mean teams will be financially better off? No of course not, they will all just spend a few bucks more.

          I’m all for reducing the ridiculous $100 million bonuses that Ferrari and Red Bull get and especially the regulation veto that Ferrari apparently still has. Ferrari has had their bonus and veto for almost 20 years now. Indeed it’s time to knock that off. However, the motives of FI and Sauber and their complete disregard for the health of F1 as a result disgusts me more than that little injustice though.

          The regulation issues they have is just semantics. The F1 Commision changes the rules and not the Strategy Group. The team’s voting power on the strategy group is a token only. Give all the teams a vote or give no team a vote on the strategy group and nothing will change.

          1. Tosh. First if big teams do not get their extra big bonuses it means they will have less money therefore the difference between them and smaller team decreases.
            Now if smaller teams get a little extra too then that difference decreases even more and finally they can look at a possible future where a good position in the championship can start really making a difference to how powerful a team can get.
            Now even if Sauber wins the championship they will still get quite a lot less than Ferrari due to bonuses. Basically even a good year won’t help them much in terms of starting to become more competitive financially.
            Saying the will spend it is irrelevant. This isn’t about what they will be spending but about the difference. The bonuses has locked the teams receiving them in a privileged position due to the difference they end up with even when they do not do that good.
            This basically makes it impossible for a middle/low team to rise because even if it does good for a year or two it still can’t get competitive money out of it that will give them the possibly to keep fighting it out.

            As to whether the EU will bring anything good or not is kind of silly to already be sure what they will bring. Besides what is the big evil they can do now? No matter what they change it wouldn’t really make anything worse.
            And NO the bonus money not getting shared between those few does not mean they will go back to CVC. They may very well be added to the championship position income or be a separate rewards disrepute more evenly etc.

      2. @patrickl, Time to get over it, I doubt MK is proud of that episode but the reality is she had her back to the wall due to the very inequity she is asking the EU to investigate, we should be supporting her in this to ensure no other driver or team find themselves in the same situation.

    2. Manor is a de facto Mercedes B-Team now, Lotus will become Renault, who is negotiating its very own bilateral deal with Ecclestone, and Haas has nothing to do with this all at the moment (not that they’d help, because of their ties with Ferrari).

      So nope, they won’t.

      1. Maybe Williams, but then they also receive a slice of the bonus pie. So nope, they won’t either.

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