Fernley hits out at Strategy Group

By on Friday, May 22, 2015
Sahara Force India

Sahara Force India

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley says Formula 1's Strategy Group is not fit for purpose and that control of the regulations should not be in the hands of the teams.

The Strategy Group - which consists of six teams, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone - proposes new regulations to submit for ratification by the Formula 1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council.

At a meeting last week the Strategy Group approved a raft of changes, including free choice of tyres from 2016 and the re-introduction of refuelling in 2017.

"I think that the problem I have is that I don't think the Strategy Group is fit for purpose and we should be looking at something where we have a clear programme that delivers results," said Fernley, whose Force India team occupies a slot in the Strategy Group this year.

"We've have 18 months or two years of Strategy Group work with nothing coming out of it. I think we need to look at the system in a better way.

"In days gone by, with Max [Mosley] and Bernie in charge, there would be none of that. We would know exactly where we're going. I don't think you should have the teams making decisions on where Formula One should go. The teams should be told where Formula One is going."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner echoed Fernley's comments.

"I mean it's rather predictable," he said. "Bob's going to ask for more money, Toto [Wolff]'s going to not want to change anything and we want to change engines. So every team has got its own agenda and it's going to fight its own corner.

"I think that the sport is governed by the FIA and it's promoted by FOM. It's those guys that need to get together and say ‘what do we want Formula One to be?' Yes, we want it to go quicker, we want cars to be more aggressive to drive - but you're never going to keep everybody happy.

"I think that Bernie and Jean [Todt] need to get together and say “this is what we want the product to be, this is how it needs to be governed,” and then give us the entry form and see if we want to enter or not. Because I think putting it in the team's environment to try and agree a set of regulations - you're never going to get everybody on the same piece of paper."

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