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Sunday 31 August 2014

Force India chief hits out at 'unethical' rule makers

Formula One Tom Cary

Published 19/10/2013 | 05:00

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Formula One's Strategy Group, the sport's new rule-making body, which meets for the first time on Monday, could well be illegal according to Force India's Bob Fernley, who hit out at the "unethical, undemocratic" way F1 is being run.

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Fernley believes that "two or three" of the six teams may seek to clarify their legal position ahead of Monday's meeting at Biggin Hill.

The Strategy Group, which has effectively replaced the sporting and technical working groups, is made up of 18 voting members, equally split between F1's governing body (the FIA), commercial rights holder (FOM) and six leading teams.

Those teams are Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes and Williams (for historic reasons) with Lotus currently occupying the sixth seat at the table as the highest-placed team outside the top four.

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As things stand, if Force India, or any of the other teams, want a say at the Strategy Group, they will need to beat Lotus in the constructors' championship.

Although the F1 Commission – at which everyone is represented – will ultimately sign off the Strategy Group's proposals, smaller teams will not be able to block anything, or put anything forward, at the initial stage.

Fernley, Force India's deputy team principal said:

"All teams basically pay the same amount to go racing, yet some teams have no say in how the sport is run. It could certainly be deemed abuse of a dominant position... there is genuine concern among some of the teams on the Strategy Group (about the legality of it), particularly the ones who are public companies. This is not ethical governance."

The three teams believed to be looking into the legal situation are McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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