EU investigation in F1 launched
F1 will be investigated by the European Union after Sauber and Force India launch a complaint on anti-competition grounds. Earlier this year the EU said they wanted to investigate the sport but needed a complaint from a stake holder.
The teams say the way revenues in the sport are “unfair” and asked the EU’s Competition Commission to investigate. Formula 1 generates £1.1bn of income, of which 63% goes to the teams.
Force India said in a statement they are “one of two teams to have registered a complaint with the European Union questioning the governance of Formula 1 and showing that the system of dividing revenues and determining how Formula 1’s rules are set is both unfair and unlawful.”
F1 CEO Berine Ecclestone said previously he would welcome such an investigation because he feels the sport has nothing to hide.
Labour MEP Anneliese Dodds said she had “real concerns” about the plight of smaller teams in the sport, but added that the Competition Commission would only investigate after the teams themselves had submitted a formal complaint.
I will honour my contract
Fernando Alonso says he will honour his three year contract with McLaren. Rumours at the Japanese grand Prix caused confusion after there was rumours that Alonso could also go.
The rumours were sparked by his manager and former team boss Flavio Briatore who warned that Alonso could quit the team unless they delivered a winning car. Alonso’s team radio on Sunday when he repeatedly called the car a “GP2 Car, GP2 engine.”
This was humiliating for their engine partner Honda during their home Grand Prix. McLaren could be about to lose both there champions as they may be heading for a crisis. Alonso tweeted “No one should have any doubt that I have 3 years with McLaren and my career in F1 will end with this team, hopefully winning everything.”
He added that the messages should not have been broadcast on TV saying it should have been private. Ron Dennis said the Spaniard has a three year deal and the messages weren’t “particularly constructive.”
Grosjean joins Haas
Romain Grosjean will join the Haas F1 Team next season when the make there debut. The team had previously said there priority was to sign an experience driver for 2016.
The statement called Grosjean a highly regarded as a team leader and potential world champion. The Frenchman will make his deubt for the team during pre-season testing. Gene Haas said the team “wanted an experienced driver capable of developing our car and our race team into one that can score points and better itself each race and each season. We found him in Romain Grosjean.”
Grosjean said “This is a new opportunity with a new team that is taking a very different approach to Formula One. I believe in their approach and they believe in me.”
He added he is “committed to giving my absolute best to my current team in these last five races” Grosjean made his debut with Renault in 2009 before taking two years away in GP2 before rejoining alongside Kimi Raikkonen.
Good Job – Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene belives that Sebastian Vettel is “better in some ways” than Micheal Schumacher. He told a newspaper “I can say that, in some respects, he is even better than Michael. Especially his character, because Michael was an introvert who opened up to only a small group of people”
Engine critical for Red Bull
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has warned that the engine situation for 2016 is now critical. Saying development of their car for next season is already behind.
Engines and Red Bull future has continued to dominate the sport over the last month. The divorce from Renault appears to be definite and they continue to wait to find a alternative supply.
Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has made clear that he will pull his two teams out of F1 if they cannot source a deal for a competitive engine. There only option is Ferrari after being turned down by Mercedes.
Berine Ecclestone said today he believes Mercedes were prepared to offer rivals Red Bull a supply of engines for 2016.
He told Sky Sports “I thought and was told that Mr (Nikki) Lauda had made an agreement with Mr Mateschitz and they had a nice handshake when Niki confirmed they would be supplied with Mercedes engine.”
Horner has denied reports that Ferrari had so far only offered Red Bull a 2015 version of their engine for next season. The Mercedes deal only collapsed because Red Bull failed to follow up their initial approach according to Lauda.