Former FIA president Max Mosley has warned that the European Commission could put the brakes on the sale of F1 to Liberty Media.
Before current majority owners CVC can get the deal through, it needs to be approved not only by the governing FIA but also the European Commission (EC).
That is because, when Mosley was in charge, it was agreed with the EC that the FIA would never take a commercial interest in F1.
But the FIA currently owns a 1 per cent share in the commercial rights, which means that approving the Liberty sale could net the Paris federation a cool $90 million.
Asked if that is a conflict of interest, Mosley told Britain’s Sky: “You could say that, I suppose.
“It’s arguably contrary to the deal that we did with the Commission back in 2001.
“It may be that the Commission might come along and say ‘You’re not allowed to do that’, but they might not. I’ve no idea,” he added.
The fact that the FIA also needs to green light the Liberty deal is also a conflict, Forbes’ F1 business journalist Christian Sylt told us.
“Obviously, the promise of a $44 million payment is a significant financial inducement for the FIA to approve the transaction,” he said.