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No corruption scandal in F1 – Todt

F1 will not suffer the same sort of scandal that is currently gripping the world of football.

That is the claim of FIA president Jean Todt.

Currently, officials of FIFA, the world football governing body, are caught up in accusations of fraud, collusion and bribery.

“There is no way that the FIA could have the same problems with corruption that FIFA are experiencing,” Todt said at the latest Formula E race in Russia.

It is believed Todt’s confidence is due to the split in formula one between the FIA’s governance of the sport, and the commercial rights that are owned by CVC and run by Bernie Ecclestone.

Ecclestone told Sky television in Canada: “That’s what the agreement was with the European Commission.  That’s what we agreed.

“I don’t know why they never agreed that with the football,” he added.

The truth, however, is that F1 has had its corruption scandals, as Ecclestone, 84, only narrowly avoided jail last year amid the Gerhard Gribkowsky bribery affair.

And it is reported that the European Commission will consider investigating formula one if small teams lodge a formal complaint about the sport’s current governance structure.

In Canada, the discussion about so-called ‘customer’ or ‘franchise’ cars moved on, with the biggest teams pushing to be the only ‘constructors’ in F1, supplying full packages to their smaller rivals.

“The teams aspiring to do that are just trying to secure additional revenues that they are otherwise not entitled to,” Sauber team co-owner and boss Monisha Kaltenborn is quoted by the German press.

Force India’s Bob Fernley agrees: “That agenda, I believe, is about getting total control from a power and financial point of view.

“I do believe it is a clear power move from those teams,” he is quoted by the Telegraph.

Indeed, it is now believed that even Ecclestone is pulling away from the ‘franchise teams’ idea.

“I don’t think we’re going to let that happen,” the F1 supremo said in Montreal, “because how can you allow one competitor to supply things to another competitor?

“If you and I were running athletes, and I could supply your running shoes, and I made sure yours didn’t fit too well … it (franchise teams) can’t really happen,” Ecclestone added.

Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, however, reports that Ecclestone has another idea.

Instead of struggling teams having to buy expensive turbo V6 ‘power units’ from the manufacturers, he would like to see older and cheaper engines available.

“Let’s say (at a cost of) 6 million euros,” he said, explaining that they may be 100 horse power down on the up-to-date power units.

But the power disadvantage, he said, would be corrected with a lower minimum car weight for the smaller teams.

“Let’s say 100hp is three seconds” per lap, said Ecclestone.  “Then we just have to figure out how much lighter the cars are so they can be competitive.”

He estimates a team like that could be run competitively for 80 million euros, “And they can stay independent.”