Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has suggested Bernie Ecclestone reacted with an 'understanding' to the revelation it has submitted an official complaint to the EU competitions commission over the way money is allocated in F1.

Having repeatedly signalled its disapproval with the way prize money and revenue is distributed in F1, Sauber and Force India have joined forces to put forward a complaint which argues "the system of dividing revenues and determining how Formula 1 rules are set is both unfair and unlawful."

With the complaint lodged against the commercial rights holder without implicating any of the larger teams that get a larger share of the revenue, should the EU competitions commission rule in Sauber and Force India's favour that it is 'unlawful' to prioritising certain teams, it could force a change in the way the money is distributed.

Related Articles

However, despite the complaint being aimed squarely at Bernie Ecclestone's company, Kaltenborn says she is confident he has sympathy for the smaller teams having repeatedly remarked that he would rip up the current binding agreements if he could.

"He has publicly expressed his views, and if I remember correctly, has said he would like to tear up certain agreements," she said. "I believe he has said now that he understands our position [too]. All I can tell you is what he apparently said in the interview, and he said that he knows why we are doing this. We have explained it to him.

"I think it is very difficult to make any assessment on why Bernie does what," she continued when asked whether Ecclestone showed sympathy. "But we have always been very open to him and I think that is important for our position with him. He knows what we have always not liked - maybe Force India, maybe us, we have common views on that and we have always been very transparent towards him. We have not hidden anything there and we have always made it our point to say what really disturbs us.

Indeed, Kaltenborn says that while Sauber was aware of the 'preferential terms' for certain teams when it agreed the deal, it was through the media that she was made aware of the gulf in distribution.

"When it is said we knew what we were signing into it, we knew there were some preferential terms, but the entire scope or scale of all these privileges, actually we only recently became aware of it through the media. And the second point, which is actually more important, is that it is besides the point if we knew it or not.

You have to have seen what situation our two teams were in - you get an offer and either you take it or leave it. That is your choice. So you sign it knowing what you sign or you have the choice to leave Formula 1, which is no choice. So that is why we come back to saying, we hope the commission will look at it, and say, why these unfair terms - in our view - were put into place."