Force India and Alfa Romeo Sauber have withdrawn their joint complaint to the European Commission from 2015 raising issues on anti-competitive practices in Formula 1.

Both teams actively voiced concerns about the competition levels and prize money shares in F1 under Bernie Ecclestone but in a joint statement Force India and Alfa Romeo Sauber have agreed to drop the complaint to the European Commission.

In the statement announcing the decision, new F1 owners Liberty Media’s influence has quelled fears on anti-competitive issues and both teams back the “new culture of transparency to the sport and illustrates willingness to debate prize fund monies, cost control and engine regulations”.

Both teams have confirmed their backing of the plans set out by new F1 owners and as a result saw it appropriate to withdraw its complaint to the European Commission. While the F1 team payment structure will remain unchanged until the end of the 2020 season due to the Concorde Agreement, an extensive reshaping of the payment system is predicted to provide all teams with a fairer slice of the F1 prize money with assurances given by F1 Executive Chairman Chase Carey to Force India and Sauber.

Consequently, both Force India and Alfa Romeo Sauber – under its new guise after its technical partnership and title sponsor deal with the Italian brand – are satisfied with the future direction of F1 under the stewardship of Liberty Media to drop its legal complaint from 2015.

The full joint statement from Force India and Sauber:

“We have decided to withdraw the complaint we lodged with the European Commission in 2015 on the subject of anti-competitive practices in the sport of Formula 1.

“We have been greatly encouraged by the dialogue that has been introduced following the appointment of Chase Carey as Executive Chairman and CEO of the Formula 1 commercial rights holder and his new management team. Their approach has brought a new culture of transparency to the sport and illustrates willingness to debate fundamental issues such as the distribution of the prize fund monies, cost control and engine regulations.

“We are encouraged and reassured by the even-handed and fair negotiating approach taken by the new management of Formula 1 to all the teams and their issues. While the concerns leading to the compliant were fully justified, we believe this new approach provides the necessary degree of assurance that our concerns will be looked at objectively, and we prefer to resolve the issues facing the sport through dialogue rather than a legal dispute.

“We want to support this transformational process in Formula 1 and thus have resolved to withdraw our complaint with immediate effect.”

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