user icon

Ecclestone says European Union discussions underway

  • Published on 06 Apr 2016 10:31
  • comments 2
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Bernie Ecclestone says "discussions" with the European Commission are currently taking place. Last September, midfield teams Force India and Sauber lodged an official complaint to the European Union's anti-competition unit about F1's allegedly "unlawful" governance and income-distribution systems.

The complaint was pointed specifically at Ecclestone, but the F1 supremo - also frustrated by the sport's crippling governance structure - may in fact also be on board, having recently described an alliance between top manufacturers Mercedes and Ferrari as a "cartel". "The European Commission is beginning to be a little more interested in formula one and whether the competition laws are respected," Ecclestone told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"If they really have doubts, it could mean the contracts must be torn up before 2020," he added, referring to the agreements that bind the sport with the FIA and teams. Referring again to the EU, he added: "We are in discussions with them."

The 85-year-old Briton makes clear that his biggest qualm is with the dominance of Mercedes, in the controversial 'power unit' era that in his view is badly hurting F1. "Mercedes has won I think 34 races in the last two years, many of them 1 and 2," said Ecclestone.

"If it was an open battle between Mercedes and Ferrari no one would complain -- we could even live with a dominant team if the drivers were at war like (Senna and Prost) were at McLaren. But if we don't change the rules, Mercedes could win until 2020 and that worries me," he admitted.

Ecclestone said Mercedes and Ferrari are effectively running F1 at the moment as they are dominating technologically and politically through their competitive power units. Referring to the decision-making bodies, he explained: "The two big teams buy votes. If their clients do not pay on time, there are no engines -- unless you vote the way the manufacturer wants you to. It means the FIA and I are left with one vote only," Ecclestone added. (GMM)

Replies (2)

Login to reply
  • An idea: give the other constructors and suppliers a genuine chance to catch up, maybe even midseason? 5 more tokens for Renault and Honda could do wonders, as would a minor reduction of costs for smaller constructors like Sauber, Manor and Force India.
    Else, if you dont want to invest in that, Eccie dear, you could always introduce a success cap, and give the fastest drivers some extra weight or restrict fuel flow further or something. I'd prefer option 1, but option 2 has worked for many series, and is what kept Audi from dominating DTM utterly in 2014 and 2015.

    • + 0
    • Apr 6 2016 - 11:01
  • The money needs to be split equally, no way Ferrari should get any more than anyone else.
    It's only a matter of time before this happens anyway....

    • + 0
    • Apr 6 2016 - 13:35

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2021

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
26 - Mar 28
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18
Italy
7 - May 9
Spain
20 - May 23
Monaco
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan
18 - Jun 20
France
25 - Jun 27
Austria
2 - Jul 4
Austria
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom
30 - Aug 1
Hungary
27 - Aug 29
Belgium
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands
10 - Sep 12
Italy
24 - Sep 26
Russian
1 - Oct 3
Singapore
8 - Oct 10
Japan
22 - Oct 24
United States of America
29 - Oct 31
Mexico
5 - Nov 7
Brazil
19 - Nov 21
Australia
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28
16 - Apr 18
7 - May 9
20 - May 23
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26
Russian Sochi Autodrom
1 - Oct 3
8 - Oct 10
22 - Oct 24
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
29 - Oct 31
5 - Nov 7
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21
Australia Albert Park
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar