FIA hits back at criticism of role in F1 sale

The sale of Formula One to Liberty Media did not represent a conflict of interest for the FIA, the governing body has claimed.

The FIA has hit back at what it claims to be "inaccurately informed" or "malicious" comments made regarding its role in the sale of Formula One to Liberty Media.

Motorsport's global governing body approved the sale last month but has since faced accusations of a conflict of interest, relating to its ownership of a one per cent stake in F1.

"The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) has been made aware of certain declarations and comments, clearly inaccurately informed or made maliciously, relating to this process," read a statement.

"There is no conflict of interest on the part of the FIA with regard to its approval of the change of control of the CRH (commercial rights holder) which has been approved by the World Motor Sport Council taking into consideration exclusively the terms of the existing agreements between the CRH and the FIA and the best interests of the championship.

"As per the agreements made in 2001 for 100 Years, the FIA could only have withheld its consent in the event that the change of control would materially alter the ability of the CRH to fulfil its obligations. 

"It is obvious that the taking of control of the Formula One Group by Liberty does not create such a risk, and nobody has ever suggested a different view in this respect."

Members of the European Parliament this week backed a call by British MEP Anneliese Dodds for an investigation into "anti-competitive practices" in F1, something the FIA was also quick to distance itself from.

"The prize money allocated in the Formula One World Championship is done so in accordance with the bilateral agreements that exist between each team and the CRH. The FIA has no knowledge of these agreements," added the statement.

 "The FIA looks forward to its collaboration with both Liberty and the Formula One Group to create a constructive relationship that will ensure the continued success and the development of the FIA Formula One World Championship in the long term."