Force India defends blocking “speculative” Marussia car request

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Austrian Grand Prix - Race Day - Spielberg, Austria

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley has defended his decision to block Marussia’s “speculative” bid to race its 2014 car this season.

The F1 Strategy Group – which is made up of the FIA, Bernie Ecclestone and F1’s top teams Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams, Ferrari, McLaren and Force India – met on Thursday in Paris to discuss the future of the sport, and to judge Marussia’s request to run its old cars in 2015.

Marussia would have needed unanimous backing from the group, but Fernley, representing Force India, rejected the idea on the basis that the team’s application lacked substance.

“The strategy group was faced with an application for Marussia’s 2014 cars to compete in the 2015 championship,” said Fernley.

“During the meeting it emerged that 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.”

Force India received a backlash from fans on Friday, with the suggestion that the team, which missed the opening test at Jerez, had blocked Marussia’s request so that it would receive its share of the collapsed team’s prize money from 2014.

Marussia entered administration in October of last year and missed the final three races of the season, but the team’s ninth position in the constructors’ standings mean it is in line for a cash prize of £34m if it can race this season.

This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Sahara Force India and Marussia F1 Team


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