Force India, Sauber F1 Withdraw EU Complaint, Cite Liberty’s ‘Transparency’

Formula One fans haven’t been crazy about every decision Liberty Media has made since acquiring the sport, but the American company clearly is doing something right.

Force India and Sauber F1 Team announced Thursday that they have withdrawn the anti-competition complaint they filed against F1 with the European Union, according to Motorsport.com. The two independent teams said they feel the complaint was warranted when it was filed in 2015, but Liberty’s new approach to ownership gives it confidence the sport will have more parity in the future.

Liberty ousted longtime CEO Bernie Ecclestone when it finalized its purchase of F1 in 2017, replacing him with Chase Carey. The 21st Century FOX executive has said the series “can’t be a dictatorship,” even though Ecclestone turned F1 into a global sport by ruling it with an iron fist.

“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 One commercial rights holder and his new management team,” they said in a joint statement.

“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.”

Although Carey and his fellow executives’ approach to management helped keep F1 out of hot water with the EU with respect to complaints of anti-competitive practices, the sport still is in the hot seat.

The new F1 logo that was revealed at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix bares a striking resemblance to the one used by 3M’s Futuro brand, causing a potential copyright issue. Legal experts have suggested that 3M will push for a settlement fee, though, allowing F1 to move forward with its rebranding.

Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images

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