Force India accepts the risk of repercussions over F1 EU complaint

Bob Fernley accepts the risk of repercussions against Force India and Sauber, after they called in the European Union to investigate Formula 1's governance and payment structure

Force India accepts the risk of repercussions over F1 EU complaint

The F1 outfits lodged an , claiming "the system of dividing revenues and determining how Formula 1 rules are set is both unfair and unlawful".

Force India and Sauber are drawing upon Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) that prohibit anti-competitive agreements and the abuse of dominant market positions.

F1's EU complaint comes at the worst possible time

It is anticipated EU competitions commissioner Margrethe Vestager will deliver an answer on whether there is a case to answer by the end of the year.

Whatever the outcome, Force India deputy team principal Fernley is expecting some fallout, with the sport's commercial rights holders, venture capitalists CVC Capital Partners, understood to be unhappy.

"We're big boys, we know what the risks are," Fernley told Autosport.

"Will there be repercussions? Probably, in due course.

"But if you feel strongly about something and you're not prepared to take care of your own convictions then you shouldn't be doing it.

"I've enjoyed a very privileged career in Formula 1, or motor racing as a whole, doing I something I love for over 30 years.

"I would dearly like to think if I leave Formula 1 then somebody else could have 30 years as well.

"If that means there has to be a penalty for me personally in the short term then it is not the end of the world. It is one of those things. You have to accept it.

"But you have to have the strength of your convictions."

Sauber: Small teams had 'no choice' on F1 deals

Suggested to Fernley he could become a fall guy, he replied: "I'm not saying that for one minute. I don't know that. Nobody does.

"But sometimes when somebody has very strong opinions and takes on something that is not in the interests of some very powerful people, there can often be a casualty and you have to recognise that.

"If you didn't go in with your eyes open then you'd be very foolish."

Fernley concedes it took a lot of soul searching on behalf of both teams to opt to pursue the case, although it was felt they had little option in a bid to try to level the playing field with the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Red Bull.

"It was a very, very hard decision to have to take," said Fernley.

"But I feel it was a decision on which we gave every opportunity for mediation over a significant period of time, certainly at least 12 months, to try and get a conciliatory agreement in place.

"Clearly there is no interest in that whatsoever, so we have had to look at bringing in a body that is independent and has the power to bring us all to account, and the only one that can do that is the EU."

shares
comments
Door not closed on year-old F1 engines, despite new FIA regulations
Previous article

Door not closed on year-old F1 engines, despite new FIA regulations

Next article

F1's new exhaust rules explained - will the cars be louder in 2016?

F1's new exhaust rules explained - will the cars be louder in 2016?
The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022