MEP Dodds queries FIA for details on F1 sale

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British MEP Anneliese Dodds is stepping up her efforts to get to the bottom of the FIA's alleged financial ties with Formula 1 following its recent sale to Liberty Media.

The governing body  was both judge and party to the sale of the sport, having to give its blessing to the deal while also holding shares in the company which held F1's commercial rights.

A state of affairs which has led to the assertion  that there was a de facto a conflict of interest involving the FIA and the sale of F1. But the institution discarded the claims, believing they were the result of "inaccurately informed" or "malicious" questioning of its role in the sale process.

Dodds has often encouraged an investigation of F1, claiming anti-competitive practices in the sport, and slowly but surely the European Parliament has started to warm-ip to the idea of an official inquiry.

"While I appreciate the FIA's attempt to clarify its position, I would welcome a more detailed outline of the reasoning behind its acceptance of these payments," she said.

"I am certain that any transparency the FIA can provide on the European parliament's concerns would help to ease concerns shared by fans of the sport.

"As I see it, there are two key instances where such a conflict of interest could have arisen.

"The first is the $5m 'signing bonus' that the FIA received from Formula 1 during the establishment of the sport's 'Strategy Group'.

"The second and more concerning instance, relates to the FIA's purchase of a 1% stake in Formula 1 for a cut-price deal of $458,197.34.

"As that stake was worth $80m only four years later, I feel that either Formula 1 seriously undervalue their business, or some other factor was involved.

"As an MEP who works closely in scrutinising the financial services sector, if I saw the Financial Conduct Authority take a 1% stake in Barclays, I would be incredibly alarmed.

"Any decision that the FCA took that could have even an indirect impact on Barclays would affect its share price and therefore any current or future financial gain from that stake.

"I don't understand how these concerns are 'malicious' and I feel they should be treated seriously, as does the European parliament."

As a reminder, Dodds South East of England constituency includes several F1 teams whose workers which she has vowed to protect.

"I am articulating the concerns of my constituents in the south east, the businesses based there and the highly skilled workers who are losing their jobs due to what they see as inherent faults in a much loved sport and industry.

"Last month, Manor Racing became the latest team in my constituency to collapse. It is my job as their elected representative to ask questions on their behalf."

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