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Force India defends Marussia decision

NEWS STORY
06/02/2015

Force India's deputy team principal Bob Fernley has defended his team's decision to block Marussia using a 2014 car this year.

The British outfit, which at the end of 2014 seemed dead and buried, appeared to rise phoenix-like from the flames this week when it was announced that it would exit administration of 19 February, ironically the day at which the second pre-season test gets underway at Barcelona.

At the same time it was claimed that former Sainsbury's boss Justin King is heading the consortium aiming to buy the team, in association with Graeme Lowdon and John Booth.

However, at yesterday's meeting of the F1 Strategy Group in Paris, Marussia's proposed return to the grid, albeit with a 2014 car, was blocked.

It was subsequently revealed that the initial bar to the British outfit's return was Force India, which only joined the five permanent teams that comprise the Strategy Group this year on account of finishing sixth in the 2014 standings. Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA make up the remainder of the group.

Fernley has defended the move to block Marussia's return (with a 2014 car) a move that would have needed unanimous agreement.

"The Strategy Group was faced with an application for Marussia's 2014 cars to compete in the 2015 championship," said Fernley, according to the Press Association. "During the meeting it emerged there were compliance issues and that the application lacked substance. Equally, the speculative application submitted contained no supporting documentation to reinforce the case for offering special dispensation. For example, no details were supplied of who the new owners would be or the operational structures that would be put in place.

"Given the lack of information, uncertain guarantees, and the speculative nature of the application, the decision was taken that it is better to focus on ensuring the continued participation of the remaining independent teams," he added.

Ironically, when it was not a member of the Strategy Group, the Silverstone-based outfit questioned the legality of its decisions, which have to be rubber-stamped by the F1 Commission, which includes all the team, anyway.

Furthermore, on the day that Marussia exits administration and testing gets underway at Barcelona, Force India is likely to be fielding its own 2014 car having claimed its 2015 contender will not be ready until the next test a week later. This week's admission by the Silverstone team comes at a time when there is increasing speculation regarding its finances and whether its new car will be ready in time for Melbourne.

Perhaps Bernie Ecclestone is correct when he claims that the real reason for the objection is the 35m prize pot at stake, which, should Marussia not appear, would be divided between the teams.

"It wasn't the only reason for Marussia being given a red light," Ecclestone subsequently told the Independent. "The money that they should have got gets distributed amongst the teams that are racing. That's a pretty good reason I suppose,"

However, there is now talk of Marussia missing the opening three races and popping up in Bahrain with a new car.

Which would be great, if only to teach the self-interest mob a lesson.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kiwi2wheels, 07/02/2015 16:50

"The 35 m should go towards paying Marussia's creditors first, not the bloodsuckers."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Hondawho?, 07/02/2015 11:26

"I agree with other contributors on here "Farce India" is what the team should be called.

BE is possibly right in his assumptions of course, that "the real reason for the objection is the 35m prize pot at stake, which, should Marussia not appear, would be divided between the teams."

Either way it is a shame for Marussia so lets hope they find a way around it but; as the administrators for Caterham quoted, on these pages I seem to remember "why on earth would anyone want to invest in a F1 team?" I think that question needs to be answered, certainly for Marussia."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Jimbo473, 06/02/2015 21:52

"Yes. Farce India. How did they get it the group. Finished sixth out of only nine that completed all the races that season. If you where treated that way in any other sport you would be promoted every year. Hardly a top team when they haven't had their 2015 car running on the test track yet. Farce indeed. "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by F One, 06/02/2015 20:12

"lol Farce India are full of c**p!"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by namb, 06/02/2015 18:10 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 06/02/2015 18:37)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

Rating: Neutral (0)

6. Posted by Rock Doc, 06/02/2015 15:15

"Why oh why does F1 keep kicking itself in the butt. We need the teams, even the ones at the back to be part of the racing. When the rain hits these are the ones with the young talent that can sometime shine. The ones at the back need the help to get to the front. They all started there. Some have gone back and forth up and down the grid. Williams for one. Force India in all it's past incarnations has bee saved so many times.

I wont defend poor managment, but give a new management a new start.

I think the simplest solution for using a 2014 car would be to increase the weight. That will be a huge incentive for teams to adopt 2015 rules. In the past we have had some cross over between regulations. Why not now.

I cry each time I see how greedy F1 has become. The more money there is the greedier they get. To be honest each team should get an equal share of the prize money. Level playing field. It should be the sponsorship money that the teams get that make up the rest. "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by namb, 06/02/2015 15:06

"That's right about Williams.....Bernie E gave Frank a loan to keep going the stories I've heard. "

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8. Posted by Peter W, 06/02/2015 14:16

"I well recall Frank Williams stuggling like hell to stay in F1 in the 70's. Not saying Marussia will achieve a Frank but they deserve the chance. The Marussi prize money was earnt by the team - surley they have a legal claim to it? Caterham, Marussia and HRT came into the sport based on a promised cost cap. Who duped them - Mr E? Stop all this over regulated hi tech nonesense and please stop all these expensive flyaways to ridiculous places."

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

9. Posted by namb, 06/02/2015 14:05

"all hands on deck....if suppliers manufacture the 2015 tubs (they have the moulds but need to be paid for previous debits!!) they could maybe get to the second race if they pass the crash tests. Someone in the consortium needs to make a quick decision and get cracking. Some of the old team members would be willing to go back and help I'm absolutely sure....the loyal ones who want stick it to the doubters. Maybe Force India haven't paid their bills and their staff recently so need to rely on the possibility of the Marussia prize money which they don't deserve because they didn't earn it.....
Manufacturers have come and gone just like private teams....look at Bernie with Brabham....he sold it on.....usually the fall out is bigger when a manufacturer leaves because they have bigger teams! Not good for anyone."

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10. Posted by Darvi, 06/02/2015 13:52

"JVM - we've been there before. Lots of manufacturers piled in (BMW, Jaguar, Toyota, Honda, Renault) and then there was an exconomic downturn and they deserted the scene over night.... not really the basis of a strong F1."

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11. Posted by alfsboy, 06/02/2015 13:37

"Justin kIng isnt the man to lead an F1 team and Bernie knows why ."

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12. Posted by JVM, 06/02/2015 12:58

"Think a little. Why try to revive dead teams, instead of focusing in attracting real big players: BMW, Toyota, VW, etc? This would make F1 real great! Stop bitching around Force India."

Rating: Negative (-5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

13. Posted by namb, 06/02/2015 12:49

"Utter disgrace! Vultures claiming money they didn't deserve or win. The prize money was won by Marussia and poor Jules. As far as I am concerned, if the other struggling teams accept any of the Marussia prize fund, they are accepting blood money! I've watched F1 for years and this has definitely turned me off. Hope Force India fail now just out of spite!"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

14. Posted by GrahamG, 06/02/2015 12:32

"I agree that there's no point in having a non-competitive team with last year's car getting in everyone's way and just digging another deep debt hole that smaller suppliers have to fill. In fact what F1 really needs is the crisis precipitating because that could force a change of structure which is the real need for the future. Gentlemen, there is so much that is bad about current F1 - unimaginably expensive engines, daft irrelevant tyres, over regulation, pay drivers instead of talent, too much money being sucked out of the sport, potential destruction of the fan base by pay TV and displacement of traditional long standing events by races in strange places no-one cares about and so on. If this starts to precipitate a crisis then so much the better."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

15. Posted by TheBucketOfTruth, 06/02/2015 12:10

"Why are so many coming out to support Marussia or whatever current iteration of it is? Why as a fan of the sport do you want to see a year old car slugging around at the back and getting in people's way? Is there even a team in place to race if they were allowed to? What makes people think they'd even be able to make it through the season at all? Perhaps I'm misguided, but I see no loss here."

Rating: Negative (-7)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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