Force India angered by push for customer cars

Force India has expressed its frustration over the push for third cars and ultimately customer cars that was voted through at yesterday's F1 Strategy Group meeting.

Force India angered by push for customer cars
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 Test Driver
Jolyon Palmer, Lotus F1 E23 Test and Reserve Driver
Raffaele Marciello, Sauber C34 Test And Reserve Driver running sensor equipment
Will Stevens, Manor F1 Team
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 Test Driver
Nick Yelloly, Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 Test Driver
Nick Yelloly, Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 Test Driver
Nick Yelloly, Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 Test Driver in the pits
Nick Yelloly, Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 Test Driver leaves the pits
Listen to this article

Although not specifically outlined in today's FIA statement – there was only a reference to “a comprehensive proposal to ensure the sustainability of the sport” – plans for a proper study of how customer cars would work were supported, despite opposition from the Force India's representative, deputy team principal Bob Fernley.

The Silverstone outfit has a presence in the Strategy Group after finishing as the 'best of the rest' in the 2014 World Championship, and as such is in effect the only team representing the interests of its fellow struggling independents, namely Sauber, Lotus and Manor.

All want to continue as constructors in their own right, and regard any move towards an alternative future as a threat.

"No interest in cost controls"

“There was no interest at all from the manufacturer teams in discussing anything to do with cost controls or more equitable income distribution,” Fernley told Motorsport.com. “It was completely abandoned in favour of the customer cars.

“In some ways it makes things abundantly clear where F1 is going. We've suspected that customer cars were wanted for quite some time, but this is the first time that it's really moving through as the only alternative as far as the manufacturer teams are concerned.

“It's not finalised as to what the package is, but there's a clear process that's going to happen now. If any teams fail, the manufacturer teams will run a third car, and in the meantime they will get on with putting together a proposal and a format for customer cars.

“Their intention would be to give the independent teams first refusal on those to see if they want to switch from being a constructor to a customer car team.

“However there will be significant downsides to that, as you can imagine. But the devil will be in the detail. In the mean time we've got to determine the direction that we want to go on in and look at how we protect our position.”

Are customer cars viable?

Fernley doesn't believe that supplying customer cars would work for the big teams: “The question will be whether it's even viable to have a customer car programme? That's the bit that they've got to prove.

“They are adamant that it is, but I'm not convinced on that, and that would be the best way of putting it, I think. The independent teams are not involved in any of the solutions.”

shares
comments
FIA statement: F1 plans faster cars and thrilling races
Previous article

FIA statement: F1 plans faster cars and thrilling races

Next article

Refuelling to return to F1 in 2017

Refuelling to return to F1 in 2017
Load comments
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022