Small teams urged to raise F1 complaint with EU

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A Labour MEP has urged F1's smaller teams to raise a formal complaint with the European Union if it wants an investigation in to the way the championship is run.

Anneliese Dodds wrote to Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner with responsibility for competition, a few months ago expressing concern regarding Formula 1, saying the sport might potentially be in breach of EU law.

Dodds says she was prompted to write to Commissioner Vestager after two of the smaller F1 teams - Marussia and Caterham - went into administration in 2014, with both based in her constituency of South East England. The current distribution of funds in the sport is heavily weighted towards the bigger teams.

Following a visit to Force India's factory on Friday, Dodds says it is up to the smaller teams to raise the issue formally, and F1i understands she has actively encouraged them to do so.

"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. "This doesn't just mean two fewer teams taking part in races throughout the season; it means 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."

Following her visit, Dodds says F1 provides a sector for skilled workers which needs to be protected in the UK.

"At Force India today I saw just what a great role Formula 1 can play in creating the kind of high-quality jobs in science and engineering that we want to see much more of as a country.  We simply cannot afford to lose those kinds of jobs."

Click here for a lighter look back at some scenes from the British Grand Prix

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