French F1 GP Public Interest Group: “serious irregularities” in spending?

Will the dissolution of the Grand Prix de France (GIP) Public Interest Group really be put to a vote this Thursday as planned on the agenda of the board of directors? A file that has already been postponed for several months is being dragged to the table. It will still be dealt with a deficit of around 30 million euros. And nothing says that the case will be closed at the end of the meeting. According to our information, the president of the Var department council, which is one of the main shareholders like the Region, is strongly against it. And for good reason.

At the end of January, Jean-Louis Masson wrote to Christian Estrosi, the president of the organization responsible for promoting the Formula 1 race at the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet. In this confidential letter we obtained, he denounces “numerous and serious violations were recorded” on the expenses of the last six years. Everything is described in detail in the appendix “not limited”. In particular, we are talking about pressure on elected officials, food and travel abroad that are considered too expensive, or the suspicious conclusion of certain contracts. Among others.

President LR du Var regretfully continues “applied opacity” to various shareholders, except for the Metropolis of Nice and the Southern Region, led by ex-republicans turned Macronists. This defines it “Participations cannot be paid until we know the nature of the costs.”

Appeal to the prefect of the Paca region?

Contacted Masson notes the difficulty of obtaining details and the complexity of the file, which will take several months to analyze in depth. “We still have a lot of questions.”, he emphasizes, calling for an external audit. The Var Department is still expected to pay 4.5 million to fill the gaps. At least. Ditto for TPM Metropolis and Nice.

With the support of Hubert Falco and the urban community of Sud-Sainte-Baume, Jean-Louis Masson is therefore counting on the blockaded minority to prevent the cancellation of the GIP of the French Grand Prix. “I don’t care” Accounts. However, he suggests an alternative: asking the prefect of the Paca region to issue a decree that would change responsibility. An idea he presented to Renaud Muselier during a face-to-face meeting on Tuesday. Then the next day to the mayor of Toulon.

In turn, Christian Estrosi’s entourage removes the anti-missile shield, recalling the financial “manna” from which Var particularly “benefits”. The figure of 140 million euros is ahead (In Extenso firm). Then it is reminded that all shareholders “voted for everything”. Another argument: “If there is a change of management, we have nothing to do with it.” There is a direct reference to the commutation this fall of Marc Giraud, who was sentenced to five years of ineligibility for the fabrication case (a sentence he is appealing).

The leadership retaliates

GIP CEO Eric Boullier, one of the last three people on permanent contracts not to be fired, was also sent to the front to defend his record and deny the allegations. “without wanting to argue unnecessarily”. Pressure on elected officials? “Too much and wrong”. Claims related to potentially controversial public contracts? More information is required “give satisfactory answers”.

About “mouth fresh”these will fit “The contracts with the catering companies for the hospitality areas of the Grand Prix all have different characteristics and are recalculated to the end customers.” As for travel expenses, Eric Boullier reminds Jean-Louis Masson “Formula 1 is a global sport with more than 22 events around the world.”

This “will require a certain number of visits to arrange the necessary meetings with the rights holders there, the sports federations involved”. As well as “broadcasters and all promoters to organize the French event in the best possible way under the best conditions”. Statements that do not satisfy Var officials yet.

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