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Fernley out as Force turns to farce

NEWS STORY
23/08/2018

Force India's deputy team principal, Bob Fernley, has left the Silverstone-based outfit with immediate effect, as the situation around the team becomes ever more confusing.

Fernley, a long-time employee of Vijay Mallya, has been with Force India since the team was bought by a consortium led by the Indian businessman and Michiel Mol in late 2007.

With Mallya's legal issues preventing him from leaving the UK, Fernley effectively became the face of Force India, though in recent months chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer has increasingly been the man to face the media.

News of Fernley's departure comes at a time there is still confusion as to whether the team will actually race this weekend.

With the official entry still owned by the original Force India it is increasingly looking as though the team rescued by Lawrence Stroll two weeks ago will have to register as an entirely new outfit.

Though officials are working desperately on a solution, one should bear in mind that Williams, McLaren and Renault have already proved a stumbling block.

According to some the most likely scenario is that Force India will register as an all-new team - though it remains to be seen whether this can be done in time for this weekend's race.

A new team would mean the loss of all the points Force India earned in the first half of the season, while it could also mean a change of driver line-up in time for next week's race at Monza.

It is currently being suggested that Lance Stroll would move to Force India - or whatever it is to be called - with Robert Kubica replacing him at Williams and Esteban Ocon heading to McLaren.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by F One, 24/08/2018 15:14

"The Kubica mafia will explode...."

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2. Posted by Peter Rickitt, 23/08/2018 16:33

"What a shame about Bob Fernley.
He has always struck me as a level-headed, fair-minded, calm and deliberate individual - just getting on with his job as de facto team principal quietly: goodness knows what he has had to cope with, behind the scenes - do you, Mr. Balfe, agree F1 would be poorer for his loss ? Contrast his quiet departing statement with the Red Bull sour grapes behaviour.
He should replace the bumptious Brown as team principal at Maclaren."

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3. Posted by Insane Reindeer, 23/08/2018 15:37

"Exactly how did they manage to buy the team and not buy the entry? Was it not offered as part of the going concern? Was it priced too high at the time the initial offer was accepted and the parties are still haggling over the price? Are the old owners refusing to sell it now with an eye to using it themselves at some later date? Or is there another interested party that is hoping to buy the entry and then use the fact that they own that to steal the team out from under the new owners?
"

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4. Posted by Agrajag, 23/08/2018 12:42

"I see F1 has taken a leaf from the Australian government’s playbook.
Crass stupidity and chaos are clearly the order of the day."

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5. Posted by Greg, 23/08/2018 12:35

"It is becoming a farce. Hopefully all will be sorted to everyones satisfaction"

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