Force India to lose place on F1 Strategy Group after new team entry

Racing Point Force India is to lose its place on Formula 1's influential Strategy Group as part of the new team deal that saved its future, Autosport has learned

Force India to lose place on F1 Strategy Group after new team entry

The Strategy Group is made up of representatives from the FIA and FOM, plus the Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes and Williams outfits - as well as the highest finishing team in the previous year's constructors' championship.

That has been Force India since 2015, when it replaced Lotus as the result of its sixth-place finish in the '14 season.

But following its new team entry that was approved ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, and the withdrawal of the previous Force India entry's constructors' championship points, it will now sacrifice its place.

Force India team principal Otmar Szafnauer said there has been no official confirmation of the situation, but his understanding is that his outfit was now out of the Strategy Group.

"Because we are a new entrant, we should not be part of it," he told Autoport.

"But at the same time, we still have to use the engine allocation that we got at the beginning of the year.

"We still have the same gearbox allocation that we started at the beginning of the year.

So how can you say we are a true new entrant? We are not."

Although Force India will not retain its place on the Strategy Group, it is unclear yet whether or not it will be replaced for the rest of 2018.

Renault was the next best team after Force India last year, but it is understood that no decision has been taken yet on whether the French manufacturer will be granted a slot for the rest of this year, or if a sixth team will only be added in 2019.

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