FIA ‘fair’ amid $80m windfall controversy – Carey

Jan.30 (GMM) Chase Carey says the FIA is “fair” and “even-handed”, amid a bubbling controversy that could spell trouble for Liberty Media’s F1 buyout.

Because the governing body owns a 1 per cent stake in F1’s commercial rights, some believe the fact the FIA had to approve the Liberty deal as a regulator reveals a blatant conflict of interest.

That is because the FIA benefitted to the reported tune of $80 million through the Liberty buyout.

According to F1 business journalist Christian Sylt, that is in defiance of a 2001 agreement with the European Commission by which the FIA vowed to only be “a sports regulator”.

“It is not a reflection on Liberty’s ambition for F1 or whether they are adequate as an owner,” UK parliamentarian Damian Collins is quoted by ITV. “It’s a question of whether the FIA discharged its duties responsibly.”

But new F1 chief executive Chase Carey is apparently unmoved by the controversy about the FIA’s behaviour.

“My experience of them is a handful of months,” he said. “They regulate the sport in a fair and even-handed way.”

The Paris-based Federation did not comment.

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