F1 sets up whistleblower service to guard against misconduct
Motor racing's Formula 1 series has set up an 'ethics and compliance' hotline for whistleblowers to come forward and report concerns over misconduct in the sport.
The online service will be fully confidential, and will “help safeguard the integrity and reputation of motorsport and automobile mobility worldwide”, according to the FIA, motor racing’s global governing body.
The main areas the sport foresees whistleblowers coming forward over are violations of the FIA’s ethical principles, the potential for manipulation of competitors and series, and other issues related to sporting integrity.
The FIA added that anyone found to have made a false or deliberately misleading charge could potentially face criminal charges.
This whistleblower service is seen as an accompaniment to Formula 1’s new budget cap of $145 million for each its 10 teams, which comes into effect in time for the 2021 season, to dissuade teams from breaking the new rules.
Ross Brawn, the series managing director, said in March that “the teams have, in a very crude sense, this internal policy going on because they know that engineers move to other teams every season, and you won’t be able to retain (sensitive) information.
“So there’s self-policing and a whistleblowing system in place there.”
Elsewhere, McLaren, one of Formula’s 1's most historically successful teams, has announced widespread job cuts, with the company’s Formula 1 operations expected to lose 70 people from a workforce of around 800.
Overall, across all sectors, McLaren Group is expected to shed 1,200 of its 4,000 employees, with the coronavirus pandemic having substantially affected revenues from sales and advertising.
The postponement of the 2020 Formula 1 season until July has also hit the team hard, and it became the first UK-based team to take advantage of the British government’s furlough scheme in April.
Paul Walsh, the executive chairman of McLaren Group, said: “It is a course of action we have worked hard to avoid, having already undertaken dramatic cost-saving measures across all areas of the business. We have no choice but to reduce the size of our workforce."
Production at McLaren’s main plant in the UK has been suspended since March, and the group is currently looking to raise £275 million ($336 million) from investors.
The new 2021 budget cap is then expected to usher in a second wave of redundancies.