F1 chiefs driving teams out, FIA impotent - Force India's Fernley

Formula 1 will be a totally different sport in 2015 because of the cost crisis that forced Marussia and Caterham off the Austin grid, reckons Force India chief Bob Fernley

F1 chiefs driving teams out, FIA impotent - Force India's Fernley

Only 18 cars have entered the United States Grand Prix amid the two teams' troubles, the smallest field since 2005.

Fernley, who is deputy team principal at Force India, reckons there is little hope of positive action being taken because he thinks F1's owners and the bigger teams do not care about what is happening and actually want to see smaller teams gone.

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"The way I feel at the moment is that we are at a crossroads," Fernley told AUTOSPORT.

"There is no point looking backwards because we have been there, knowing full well that this crisis was going to happen two years ago.

"As a result we need to look at where we are today. And clearly what it shows to me is that there is a plan between [F1's owner] CVC and five teams, which have been enriched and empowered, and they have a clear plan for the future of F1.

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"F1 in 2015 will not be the F1 we have known. We are past that, the damage has now been done with the loss of Caterham and Marussia.

"And the question for me is how many more teams do they want to drive out of F1 before they achieve their goal? And more importantly what is their goal?

"Because for a normal F1 programme, neither the three car team nor customer car teams works."

FIA 'IMPOTENT'

Fernley believes that the fate of F1 is now in the hands of CVC, but doubts the firm cares about the smaller teams.

"Responsibility lies with the people in control and that is CVC," he said.

"I think the FIA are both impotent and powerless, and that has been proven this year in that they wished to bring in cost controls and used their best efforts to do so, but they were completely overpowered by CVC and the five teams.

"One would have thought if there was any concern the commercial rights holder would be trying to bring together the disenfranchised teams and there has been nothing at all.

"If there was any concern at all about it, you would presume the head of CVC would be here. And he is not."

He hinted that the midfield teams could now take action.

"I think the disenfranchised teams need to look very seriously at what they are going to do over the next few races," said Fernley.

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