Small teams accuse big teams of breaching EU law

15 April 2014 by Ryan Wood

Some smaller outfits have accused six of the larger teams and the FIA of breaching a European competition law.

Force India, Sauber, Caterham and Marussia have written to the FIA to express their belief that the six teams which form the F1 Strategy Group are abusing their dominant position illegally.

Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Williams and Lotus make up the group alongside FIA president Jean Todt and F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone.

The group has the ability to agree upon and scrap new rules without gaining unanimous agreement, as long as a majority within the group share the same view.

Following the FIA's decision to drop a new cost cap for 2015 - because those six teams and Ecclestone failed to support it - Force India, Sauber, Caterham and Marussia have warned that the sport risks "financial disaster" if it doesn't take steps to bring down spending in the sport.

In their letter to the governing body, it's believed they have accused the Strategy Group of abusing its powers in favour of their own gain, rather than for the better of the sport, which they believe breaches the EU's competition laws.

Speaking last year, Force India's Bob Fernley raised similar concerns, but didn't take any action.

"Some teams have no say in how the sport is run," he said. "It could certainly be deemed abuse of a dominant position."

The letter was delivered to Todt prior to last week's World Motor Sport Council in which the Frenchman called upon all 11 teams to meet to discuss different options to reduce spending. It's likely in response to the claims in the letter.