Williams and Force India hit back at Ferrari claims over F1 meeting

Williams and Force India have both denied handing Mercedes a mandate to be represented during last week's meeting between the big Formula 1 teams in Canada

Williams and Force India hit back at Ferrari claims over F1 meeting

Top of the agenda for Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull were plans with regard to the introduction of customer cars from 2017.

Present at the meeting were McLaren Group CEO Ron Dennis, his team's racing director Eric Boullier, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff and non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, along with Ferrari and Red Bull team principals Maurizio Arrivabene and Christian Horner.

Although Williams and Force India are part of the Strategy Group, neither were involved in what proved to be a lengthy meeting that also included race director Charlie Whiting for a period.

Asked as to the purpose of the meeting, Arrivabene said: "We were just talking, the four teams.

"If you look at them they are the constructors, except Williams, but Williams gave a mandate to Mercedes.

"We were talking about the mandate of the Strategy Group, more or less everything to make sure we find a way to speed up the process and a solution as soon as possible."

Pointed out to Arrivabene Force India is also a constructor, but was not present, he replied: "They were informed by Mercedes, same story as Williams."

Williams and Force India deputy team principals Claire Williams and Bob Fernley, however, have both disputed Arrivabene's remarks.

Speaking to AUTOSPORT, Williams said: "We weren't part of it, and Mercedes are not mandated to represent us."

Fernley concurred as he told AUTOSPORT: "That is not correct, we have not given any mandate to Mercedes.

"What we did do at last month's Strategy Group meeting is say that fundamentally we're not in favour of customer cars.

"However, if the four manufacturing teams, plus Williams, want to go ahead with that process and investigate it then we're happy for them to present it to us when they've finished it."

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