Smaller teams less committed to F1 claims Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has hit back at criticism of the Strategy Group.

The decision-making group features only six of the sport’s eleven competing teams – powerful Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren, 2013′s fourth-placed Lotus and, for historical reasons, Williams.

But after plans for budget caps were recently scrapped, the smaller teams angrily hit back by claiming they have been “disenfranchised”.

They have even questioned the legality of the Strategy Group against European anti-competition laws.

Formula 1 Chief Executive Ecclestone, however, has justified the exclusion of smaller teams Sauber, Force India, Marussia and Caterham.

“There are four teams that are not in the Strategy Group and why not?” he told business journalist Christian Sylt.

“Because the people that are [in the group] have committed to racing in Formula 1 to 2020 and have put up sensible guarantees if they don’t [race],” Ecclestone is quoted by the Independent.

The small teams obviously take issue with that view.

“The voice of Caterham does not count as much as the voice of Ferrari,” Caterham chief Cyril Abiteboul acknowledged in Barcelona last weekend, “but it doesn’t mean that we cannot be part of the discussion, at least for the sake of transparency.” (GMM)

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