Strategy Group presence a "headache" for Force India's Fernley

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley says being part of the Strategy Group is a “hassle” and a “headache” but he feels he has a moral responsibility to fight for Formula 1’s independent teams.

Strategy Group presence a "headache" for Force India's Fernley
Robert Fernley, Sahara Force India F1 Team Deputy Team Principal
Sergio Perez, Force India VJM10
Robert Fernley, Sahara Force India F1 Team Deputy Team Principal with Jean Todt, FIA President
Sergio Perez, Force India VJM10, leads Esteban Ocon, Force India VJM10
Charlie Whiting, Race Director, FIA, with Bob Fernley, Deputy Team Principal, Force India

Fernley, whose team has been part of the body since 2015 by virtue of its finishing position in the constructors’ championship, has long been critical of the group, at one point describing it as “not fit for purpose”.

Liberty Media’s new owners are believed to be keen to streamline F1’s governance procedure, which currently involves ideas being tabled at Strategy Group level, before going for approval at the F1 Commission and then sent to the World Motor Sport council for ratification.

The Strategy Group is made up of the FIA, the commercial rights holder FOM and six teams - Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, Williams, McLaren and Force India - with Fernley believing his team has the role of fight for the interests of the smaller, independent outfits not represented.

“From a personal point of view it's been a lot of hassle,” Fernley told Motorsport.com.

“It's our third year on the Strategy Group. I’ve taken a lot of flak over the past two-and-a-half to three years.

“From a moral responsibility point of view, we're the only team representing the independent teams, and somebody's got to stand up for what you think is right in Formula 1.”

Fernley also believes it is unfair that not all teams are involved in the group, given the significance of the items which are discussed there.

“I just feel that as much as it's an inconvenience and quite a headache for me personally, you have some responsibility to the team and your fellow competitors that aren't represented there - and that to me is still something that's totally wrong,” he said.

“I feel very strongly about it and I feel quite passionate about it as well.

“We do the things that we do and stand up and be counted, not just against the teams but obviously against the commercial rights holder and the FIA and whoever we feel is actually reducing the impact for the independent teams.”

shares
comments
Gallery: Remembering Jim Clark

Previous article

Gallery: Remembering Jim Clark

Next article

Mercedes could play role in Honda F1 recovery plan

Mercedes could play role in Honda F1 recovery plan
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021