With the purchase of Force India increasingly looking to be not quite as clear cut as previously imagined, one of the many factors being questioned is Racing Point Force India's engine allocation for the remainder of the season.
With this being an entirely new team, having not been given the points accrued by the original outfit, yet seemingly entitled to its prize money, attention turned to engine allocation.
Though Force India's points have been scrapped, those of its two drivers haven't. As a result there was confusion over whether the engine allocation might be one of the factors to be re-set.
This morning, the Spa-Francorchamps stewards issued a statement clarifying the situation.
The Stewards note the following three decisions of the FIA:
1. On August 23, 2018, Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team was excluded from the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship with immediate effect.
2. The points that the above team was awarded from its results in Events to date in the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship under Article 6.2 of the Sporting Regulations are forfeited.
3. The points that the drivers for the Sahara Fore India Formula 1 Team have been awarded from their results in the Events to date in the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship under Article 6.1 of the Sporting regulations are not forfeited. Instead they are retained by the drivers and may be combined for purposes of said Article 6.1 with any points that the same drivers are awarded from their results whilst driving for the Racing Point Force India F1 Team in Events in the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship that takes place after 23 August 2018.
In relation to the application of Article 23 of the Sporting Regulations ("Spare cars, engines and gearboxes") the Stewards note that the matter of the number of power unit elements and gearboxes needs to be settled, in that the current regulations do not appear to take into account the highly unusual situation where a team is excluded mid-season and a new team effectively "replaces" it, and the drivers move from the former team to the new team. The question arises "do the power unit elements and gearbox numbers accumulated to date by the excluded Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team carry over to the new Racing Point Force India F1 Team or do they revert to zero for each of the drivers?"
The Stewards note their responsibility under Article 11.9.1 of the International Sporting Code where they have supreme authority for the enforcement of the Code, which under Article 1.1.1 requires the fundamental principles of "...fairness".
Article 11.9.2.a of the Code empowers the Stewards to settle any matter which might arise during an event.
The Stewards consider that as the drivers have retained their respective points accumulated to date in the 2018 Events in the Championship it is both logical and fair, that the elements, units and gearboxes used by their respective cars in the excluded team, should carry forward to the new team.
Accordingly, we decide that the numbers of power unit elements and gearboxes referred to in Article 23 of the Sporting Regulations and used to date in 2018 by Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team shall carry forward to Racing Point Force India F1 Team.